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These pages document my time spent flying balloons in Kapadokya . . .
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Chapter 10
January 10, 2009
I've been here two weeks now. I've flown twice. Didn't fly today, but the weather was beautiful. Went to the office for breakfast (like usual) around 10:00 am and got back home about 11:00. Sunny and blue sky, but stayed home for a while to talk with Joanne. Her daughter Stephanie is getting married today, so she would only be able to talk first thing in the morning (her time) . We chatted for a while and then I just kicked back and relaxed, not doing a whole lot. It was such a gorgeous day that I wanted to go out and take some photo's but really, the best time is sunrise and sunset (just like ballooning) , that's when the light is the best.
So I did a little surfing on the 'net (looking for a solution for my picture galleries) and around 4:00 pm, grabbed my camera and headed out. I had planned on getting a few shots of some street scenes, to give you an idea of what the village of Uçhisar is like. But as soon as I got out to the street, I saw the full moon rising. I live one block away from the west ridge of Pigeon Valley, so I headed in that direction. Not only was the full moon rising, but with the sun low and starting to set on such a nice day, Mt. Erciyes was also very prominent on the eastern horizon.
I had to get my wide angle lens out to get both the moon (far left) and Mt. Erciyes (far right in the picture).
I actually left the house about half an hour late . . . once it starts, the sun sets pretty quickly, and I was running out of good light. I didn't get any good shots of the beautiful Red Valley. It is wonderful at sunset! Well, I've got a few months left and I did get these . . .
The full moon over Pigeon Valley
A wider shot of the full moon over Pigeon Valley
zoomed in on Mt. Erciyes, the top of which is over 12,900 ft above sea level
A gorgeous Mt. Erciyes looms over Pigeon Valley
As quickly as the sun was setting, the moon was rising. The light was gone for good street scenes, so I headed towards the castle with the hopes of trying to capture an image of the castle with a full moon. I had of course never been here for a full moon this time year (or any time of year) so I didn't realize what I was about see. And these photo's can't capture the ambiance of the moment... the call to prayer had sounded about 5 minutes earlier, so the village was pretty quiet. I walked up the narrow cobblestone street and when I got to the side of the castle that put the moon behind it, this is what I saw . . .
The full moon between Uçhisars' two peaks
A wider shot of the moon and Uçhisar
my favorite shot of the night
The full moon between the two peaks of Uçhisar! What an incredible sight! I feel so fortunate to be able to have this whole Turkey experience. It really is a beautiful place. Everywhere you look is breath taking scenery. It is pretty third worldish in a lot of ways and the living conditions certainly could be better, but once I get out of the house, I forget all that because everywhere around me are views you can't get anywhere else.
Uçhisar Castle, the SE part of the village of Uçhisar and part of Pigeon Valley, from the south.

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