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TURKEY
These pages document my time spent flying balloons in Kapadokya . . .
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Chapter 11
Sunsets and Moonrises
The weather was very windy most of the day today. We haven't flown for a couple of days now. With all this free time, I decided it was time to grab my Canon and wander about the village now that I'm comfortable that I know it well enough not to get lost. And yes, it's a small village, but it's large enough to get lost in (unlike Driggs) . I wanted to get out at sunrise today, but when I got up, the wind was howling and it was only about 25 degrees, so I decided that since the moon is full, I would wait 'til sunset and get a little earlier start than I did yesterday.
Well, I left the house about an hour earlier (around 3 pm) than I did yesterday, which gave me time to shoot some typical street scenes, before the sun got to where it was throwing color onto Red Valley.
A house I pass on the way to the office.
close up of wall.
Another house on the way to the office. This one has a huge yard.
I've noticed quite a few times, while walking to the office, a couple of houses that I wanted to get photos of. The first one (photo on left, above) struck me because of it's thatched top wall. You can also see in that picture, the solar panel and water tank for their hot water. The other house (photo above right) struck me because of the size of its yard. Huge by Uçhisar standards, I'm imagining that the owners are probably considered fairly wealthy.
Walking around the village afforded ample opportunity to get shots that are very representative of what the village is like. That is what I'm hoping for, to give you the sense of almost being there. Very difficult to do through photos, especially in a place like this. There are walls everywhere (some crumbling) and almost all the streets are cobblestone (okay, actually they're paving stones, but let's not quibble) . The closer you get to the castle, the narrower the streets and more of the houses and business are carved into the hillside. Also, the more decay and crumbling you see...
A typical street. Notice the minaret in the background. There are mosques everywhere.
A vacant lot. I could not have staged this any better. Again, a minaret in the background.
Looking up one of the narrow streets at Castle Uçhisar.
I had told Sancho about the full moon pictures I took yesterday and just after I left the house, I met him as he was coming home. I told him where I was going and since in a technical sense he is a professional photographer (people pay him for his photo's) he went home and got his camera. I was still shooting street scenes, when he called (we both have company cell phones) and said he was over by the castle. So I headed that way. I realized last night, that where I was taking the pictures from, is right next to the Ahbab Hotel, which is owned by the very first person I met in Uçhisar. His name is Genghis (pronouned jing gis) and he is good friends with Alper (my boss) . In fact, from what I hear, he will also be the next mayor (or what ever the Turks call it) of Uçhisar. His hotel has an awesome view, and he is a really nice guy.
The Ahbab Hotel. Genghis' place and Alpers' second home.
The view from the Ahbab Hotel. There is a small valley between the hotel and Castle Uçhisar
The Ahbab Hotel is on the left of the rock in this photo from the castle.
The sun was getting low in the sky, casting the valleys into shadow, but still throwing light onto higher spots. We got some good shots of the castle before deciding to make haste for the other side of the castle in an effort to get some pics of Red Valley bathed in color. 
One of the formations in the valley between the castle and Hotel Ahbab
I think this is my best shot of the day. The smaller (NW) peak of Castle Uçhisar
As we made our way toward the other side of the castle, I noticed this shop and had to snap a few pics. There were also some chickens in the street and Sancho was making some new friends.
I couldn't believe my eyes when I spotted this houka shop.
A close shot of the shop window.
Houkas
Sancho with his bike and a very friendly chicken
The sun was setting fast and I had to jog a bit to get to where we could see Red Valley. I got there in the nick of time, but could only get this one shot before the sun was down and the color was gone.
Just in time to take what I think is my second best picture of the day.
Göreme in the foreground with a bright Red Valley as a backdrop.
The sun was finished painting the valleys and rocks, but it wasn't done giving us a show. As we turned to go home, we walked past the castle one more time. The high point gave us a good look at the mountain near Nevşehir and the splash of sun spilling over it.
Watching the sunset from the castle.
Zoomed in on the sunset, literally seconds later.
Though yesterday was clear, today we had a lot of clouds. The clouds made for some good sunset pictures (including Red Valley this time) but alas, the moon was not to be seen. Kind of makes yesterday a little more special.
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