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Balabanova All Over

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[Dinant, Belgium / Luxembourg, Dec 20, 2019] My second day was entirely taken up by a bus tour to Luxembourg I booked on GetYourGuide.com. This is where being an early planner almost got me in trouble. When I originally looked for tours to Luxembourg back in September, nothing was on the schedule for my dates yet. I wasn’t sure if it was just too early or they don’t do tours in the… Read More

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[Brussels, Belgium, Dec 19, 2019] Visiting the European Parliament and the area around Grand Place took up most of my morning. I decided to spend the second half of the day in the upper part of town following a 90-minute walk described in my guidebook. It started at Royal Place, a square just a 15-minute walk uphill from the Maneken Pis statue, where I had ended my lower town sightseeing. I had… Read More

[Brussels, Belgium, Dec 19, 2019] Armed with Rick Steves’ Belgium guidebook, I left my hotel shortly after 8 am. It was still dark – sunrise wasn’t until 8:43 am. I stopped for a coffee at the cafe right next to my hotel and headed for the European Parliament on the east side of the city, about 25 minutes away from the city center by bus. The European Union as you know it… 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