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Featured A Balloon Ride in Kapadokya

Discussion in 'Scenic, Architecture, and Travel' started by Hendrik, Mar 10, 2019.

  1. Hendrik

    Hendrik Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Feb 27, 2015
    Wayland MA
    Hendrik
    Several years ago my wife and I visited our son, who was then living in Turkey for a seven-month period of study of the language. With our son as translator, we took a side trip to Kapadokya (Cappadocia) and succumbed to the opportunity for a balloon ride.

    The balloons fly each morning with acceptable conditions. One morning we rode, one morning we watched. It’s a great show, either way. Only one problem – to go riding you have to be up at zero-dark o’clock. Luckily, if you book through the hotel, the balloon companies provide shuttle service.

    Preparing the balloon in the dawn twilight. This is noisy, labor-intensive business. The burner mounted on the tipped gondola is being used to finish the fill of the envelope which will, in turn, pull the gondola upright.
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    Seconds away from being let go in order to right the gondola.
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    With our burner firing in earnest, we start to rise and, once a couple of feet off the ground, we can start to grasp the scale of the project. Between paying passengers and ground crew, Göreme is a very busy place!
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    Always more balloons
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    Once we clear the ground obstacles we start moving generally south-east, toward Ortahisar (to the back of the camera - Çavusin is in the distance). It's go with the flow.
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    Other balloons rising.
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    Lots of others are having a like adventure.
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    We were told that this morning the number of balloons launched reached the limit, 99, and that a second launch would begin once we landed (after about 55 minutes, airborne).
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    Erciyes in the pre-dawn glow, seen from about 400 meters up. Erciyes is a currently inactive volcano that lies just south of the major central-Turkish city Kayseri (Caesarea)
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    The foreground feature is Ak Tepe, and we are drifting over the Rose Valley, through which, later that day, we had a guided walk, courtesy of our hotelier.
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    To be continued...
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2019
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  2. Great shots, it looks like a beautiful country to be floating above.
     
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  3. Hendrik

    Hendrik Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Feb 27, 2015
    Wayland MA
    Hendrik
    I suspect it would seem utterly familiar to you! ;) 
     
  4. Maybe the beautiful country, but not the floating above (dreams excluded of course).
     
  5. Hendrik

    Hendrik Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Feb 27, 2015
    Wayland MA
    Hendrik
    Dreams are nice, of course, but so unpredictable. As a kid, whenever I dreamt of flying, I'd wake up as I hit the floor. Heights give me the willies but, since the sides of the basket came up to my chest, I felt secure and the whole thing was a kick. I did make certain that the camera was well attached to me!
     
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  6. Sam0912

    Sam0912 Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    295
    Mar 1, 2012
    Manchester UK
    Sam Roberts
    This is well up on my bucket list - cracking shots, thanks for sharing
     
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  7. Hendrik

    Hendrik Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Feb 27, 2015
    Wayland MA
    Hendrik
    For our trip, I had rented the 12-40 Pro. Even though I was also traveling with the O9-18 (also rented), O12-50, P20, and O40-150R, I fell in love with the 12-40 almost immediately. The bond was cemented once I got home and started post processing. Even though I had to return that copy, I bought my very own within six months. For the balloon ride, I carried only the Pro. Yes, I missed being able to zoom out further than 40 once we were at altitude but results are results...


    The sun is up.
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    Loud, but necessary. One might expect ballooning to be silent but between the burns, the guide’s patter and the constant radio chatter, peace was at a bit of a premium.
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    Layers upon layers, into the distance.
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    Low, warm light falls on Göreme lower right, Üçhisar left of center, Nevsehir in distance.
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    Look out, below! What goes up must come down. That’s a lot of balloons!
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    We’re one of the first down.
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    Haul smartly, there.
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    Stragglers
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    Deflating.
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    All smiles. Time for some celebratory bubbly (not to mention chimping the new piccies).
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    Tomorrow we'll watch the show.
     

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  8. WT21

    WT21 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston
    Great stuff and what a wonderful morning.
     
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  9. Hendrik

    Hendrik Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Feb 27, 2015
    Wayland MA
    Hendrik
    The next day. It's not our day to fly. We can get up a bit later, stumble twenty feet to the hotel terrace, sit down and still see the launch and sunrise.


    Erciyes in morning twilight, seen from Üçhisar.
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    The balloons have launched. Seen from Üçhisar.
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    Sun & Erciyes.
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    The sun is just peeking over the horizon at all the balloons.
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    We weren’t expecting much after that, but the air currents brought the balloons towards us and we were treated to a grand performance.


    This day the balloons fly right toward Üçhisar (we went the opposite way).
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    Strange symmetry
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    Strange symmetry redux
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    Now, that’s what I call a strong diagonal!
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    I liked the lines.
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    Thanks for giving a look!
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2019
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  10. Hendrik

    Hendrik Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Feb 27, 2015
    Wayland MA
    Hendrik
    Thanks for the kind words. It IS bucket-list stuff, for sure!
     
  11. Hendrik

    Hendrik Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Feb 27, 2015
    Wayland MA
    Hendrik
    Wonderful and magical, too.
     
  12. Andrewmap

    Andrewmap Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    816
    Jun 5, 2018
    Derby, United Kingdom
    Martin
    Wonderful set of images from both days, thanks for sharing: it might be on some bucket lists, but not for me: I prefer wings either side when flying! :) 
     
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  13. Hendrik

    Hendrik Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Feb 27, 2015
    Wayland MA
    Hendrik
    Aw, c'mon! Give it a try. ;) 

    Seriously, I feel somewhat the same but I was surprised how vital and engrossing the experience was of being aloft without any window between me and the landscape. As for skittishness with heights, that describes me to a T. But the walls of the basket are so high and rigid (there is no door – you have to climb up and over and be able to transition at the top) that I had no sense of height insecurity. That transferred to worries about dropping the camera. In any case, I'd do it again, no problem. And it's one of the only ways to get those angles and views.
     
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  14. Mattyh

    Mattyh Mu-43 Veteran

    413
    Dec 14, 2013
    Stoke on Trent
    Wonderful and insightful, I was going to say images but that doesn’t do then justice so let’s say artwork.

    This August (I know hot) we’ll be holidaying in Kusadasi so we can visit Ephesus, another one to tick of the bucket list and a first time visit for us to Turkey.
     
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  15. Hendrik

    Hendrik Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Feb 27, 2015
    Wayland MA
    Hendrik
    Many thanks.

    Enjoy your time in Turkey. The people there are wonderfully hospitable, despite the politics. Just plain folk.
     
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