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Balabanova All Over

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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

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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

[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

[Athens, Greece, May 20, 2019] After our marathon through Athens and its outskirts yesterday, we were looking forward to a less busy day. The only things on our agenda were a visit to the National Archaeological Museum and returning the rental car we used to go see the sunset at Cape Sounion. The National Archaeological Museum houses some of the most important artifacts from a variety of archaeological locations around Greece from… Read More

[Athens, Greece, May 19 ,2019] We began our first full day in Athens with a visit to its most famous landmark, the Acropolis. We knew it would get busy, so we figured we’d avoid the crowds by getting there at 8 am, when it opened. Even though we were staying in the center of Athens, the neighborhood looked like a ghost town on our walk to the Acropolis! Even though the Acropolis… Read More