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Balabanova All Over

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[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

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[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

[Istanbul, Turkey] Our last day in Istanbul was jam-packed with activities. We had plenty left to see in this ancient city and we were determined to get to most if not all. We started our day with trip #3 to the Blue Mosque. The goal – to finally get inside! On the first day, the line was so long we decided to try later, and the next day we went too late… Read More

[Istanbul, Turkey] We vowed to not let the New Year’s Eve celebrations detract from sightseeing, and so we took the first day of 2013 by the horn and made the most of our time in Sultanahmet. We started off with the Istanbul Archaeology Museum. I heard this museum housed the sarcophagus of Alexander the Great. While there is a sarcophagus named Alexander at the museum, it didn’t, in fact, belong to Alexander… Read More