Change

For a little over the past 2 weeks I have been in China with the Wifey. In short… China.. Is.. Badass.. Way more badass than we could have imagined. I could easily live there for a couple of years, and even then, there would not be enough time to properly explore such a vast, amazing country.

I promise to write a chronological travel page for each area we visited, but together we amassed thousands of photos, so this could take some time. I will also be in the process of moving in the coming weeks, so it will definitely be a while until I have processed even a quarter of my own photos, let alone my wife’s! My Malaysia travel page is easily the most popular page on this blog, so hopefully a China version would be helpful to anyone thinking of going.

Turkish Flag at Bodrum Castle

What the hell? You moron! That is a Turkish flag.

Yeah I know. I had to put a Turkish flag up since I signed on to work in Turkey for an indefinite amount of time while I was away in China. This opportunity was completely unexpected given the current economic climate, but exactly where me and the wifey wanted to end up. She will be some months behind me in arriving there, but we are both extremely excited to be going back to such a great location. Hopefully I will be able to capture some photos for this blog that will do the country justice. I am not sure how long it will take to obtain the proper working permit, but I already have visions of ekmek and kalesi grandeur in my head.

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Prague

I thought I would put up a couple of pictures from our trip to Prague in October 2006. We were living in Turkey at the time and I ended up tagging along with wifey to Germany where she was having PRK eye surgery. She was adamant that we had to go on this trip while her eyes were in the somewhat painful and sensitive days of recovery. She couldn’t see much since her vision was blurry, but we had a great time anyways. Prague has got to be the neatest city I have ever seen. It is painful to know that I was a complete noob to photography and only had my crummy Panasonic point and shoot.

This is a shot of 14th century Karlštejn Castle that is about an hours drive from Prague, easily the coolest, most well-kept castle I have ever seen. Unfortunately we were only allowed in the smallest section of the castle you can see on the far right. It was surprisingly bleak inside the section we did see, I recommend not wasting your time with that part of the tour and just checking out all the vantage points around the castle instead.

Karlštejn Castle

This is a shot of a 14th century remodel of Hradcany Castle which is on top of a large hill overlooking the city of Prague. I know it is a little washed out, but you have to understand that the area of my mind that processes photography was not only dormant, but also existing in a ghetto.

Prague Castle From a Bridge 2

As far as cities go, Prague easily tops my list of the most photogenic cities with its’ endless amount of draw dropping architecture that is intricately detailed and immaculately preserved. Luckily, the Czechs have not yet destroyed their beautiful city with modern high rises and massive Wallmart and Ikea stores.

Türkiye

Here is another post with some pictures from my archive dating back to my time spent living in Turkey for a year and a half from late 05-07. Turkey is a country I absolutely fell in love with. It is also were I met and fell in love with my wife. We traveled all over this country during our time there and were continually taken aback at how diverse the geography of this country is and the amount of historical sites and relics spread throughout. The people are the most hospitable bunch I have ever come across and the food.. Kebabs, ekmek, and sahlep. Have I said anything about a long soak in a Turkish hamam (bath) yet?

This first picture was taken with my first digital camera I have ever owned, the Canon A80, one that is still going strong. This is Anamur Kalasi (Castle) which was started by the Romans in the 3rd century. This was one of the best preserved castles of the many that we visited and it sits right on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea nearby the resort city of Alanya.

Anamur Kalesi Tone Mapped

This picture is from the top of 7,001 ft Mt. Nemrut. The actual peak is about 60 ft above these statues and behind them out of the frame of this picture are the stone bodies that these heads have since separated from over time. It is believed to have been built around 62 BC, but relatively little is known about the origins of this site. This was taken with my Panasonic DMC FX-01 which was a pretty lousy camera for anything but bright conditions.

Mt. Nemrut Sunrise

I will be posting a few more pictures from my Turkey archives in the future and if all goes well, I will be back in Turkey in a little over a year from now for another year of exploration; this time with a real drive to capture the amazing sites and scenery with my improved photographic drive and knowledge.

The Real Deal

We took a trip to Krabi, Thailand back in Nov/Dec ’07 and let me tell you… That place is the real deal paradise if you are a fan of oceans, beautiful scenery, and warm weather. Krabi was the perfect hub to cheaply charter a long boat to many of the different islands and beaches, many of which were relatively devoid of crowds. Krabi seemed like a good alternative from the very crowded cities of Bangkok and Pataya, and we were never once bothered by lady boys or sex trade workers, which is always a plus in my book!

I finally earned my PADI diving certification so I could dive with wifey on future trips. I highly recommend Krabi Divers if you are in the area. Great price, very friendly staff, and brand new gear. The Andaman Sea had extremely clear water and plenty of diverse sea life to watch. It ended up being a lot more fun than I thought it would be.

This trip was the reason I purchased a DSLR and became really interested in photography as a hobby. My newer Panasonic DMC-FX01 was a noise factory and ended up getting a ton of dust in the sensor along the way. This was highly frustrating for me and after seeing pictures from a friends D80 at work in France, I was done with sub-par point and shoot cameras.

This is one of the few shots that came out okay; the rest need tons of work to repair, and I wasn’t really thinking beyond snapshots at the time anyways.

Long Boat in Thailand