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Balabanova All Over

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[Park City / Salt Lake City, UT, Oct 6, 2019] Our flight back to LA was not until 5 pm, so we had an almost full day to explore. We decided to split our time between the mountains in the city. First, we headed east of Park City towards the Uinta Mountain range. The Uinta Mountains are a subrange of the Rocky Mountains and run east-west. Peaks range from 11,000 ft (3,500… Read More

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[Portland, OR, Jul 6, 2019] On the last day of my trip, I finally had a chance to hang out in Portland proper. First order of the day was a visit to an ex-coworker of mine who moved here in 2015. Her house is perched up on a hill next to Pittock mansion, so after catching up with her, I headed there. The Pittock Mansion was built in 1914 by the Pittock… Read More

[Istanbul, Turkey, May 25, 2019] And just like that, it was the last day of our trip! It’s always hard to believe when that day comes. Time seems to fly by while at the same time my normal every-day life seems so far away! It rained again overnight but we decided to leave the umbrellas at home – it was a pain to carry them around all day yesterday, and the weather… Read More

[Istanbul, Turkey, May 24, 2019] A gloomy, rainy morning sky greated us on our full first day in Istanbul. Luckily, it was not cold. We borrowed some umbrellas from our hotel and headed to Hagia Sophia, the most easily recognizable Istanbul landmark. The current structure is the third church built at this site in the 6th century by Byzantine Emperor Justinian, the previous two having been destroyed. It remained the largest cathedral… Read More

[Istanbul, Turkey, May 23, 2019] Ahhh, Istanbul! This magical city, which straddles Europe and Asia, has gone through many transformative changes in its history. Founded under the name of Byzantion around 660 BC, the city grew in size and influence. Roman Emperor Constantine, having just converted to Christianity, made it the new capital of the Roman Empire in 330 AD and began its transformation as a major Christian center. A thousand years… Read More