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The Hagia Sophia

Several years ago I read a book about the Ottoman Empire, one of many that talked about Hagia Sophia. The more I read about it, its history which predates the Ottoman Empire by several centuries, the higher it climb my bucket list. With just a one day layover in Istanbul starting around 1:00 pm, in which the line to visit Hagia Sophia wasn’t realistic, I made...

Bosphorus Boat Tour

After waiting a little longer than I would’ve preferred, we were finally on our way to the boat for the Bosphorus Boat Tour. As a mob, we started walking. And walking. And kept walking. And walking so much that Najwa insisted on being carried. So I picked her up [somehow lost sight of Nduku in the mob], but kept walking. And walking. Apparently Hagia Sophia...

Walking Around Sultanahmet Square Looking for a Place to Warm Up

After visiting the Blue Mosque, we walked around the tourist area, checking out the other landmarks. In the plaza area near the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia, there are these obelisks and other cool structures. One was the Obelisk of Theodosius, an Ancient Egyptian obelisk of Pharaoh Thutmose III re-erected in the Hippodrome of Constantinople (known today as At...

Blue Mosque - Istanbul, Turkey

Visit to the Blue Mosque

The main attraction in Turkey is the Hagia Sophia. For me at least. When we finally made our way around the corner to visit the historic site, well, about a hundred or two other people beat us to it. It wasn’t so much that the line was so long — and it was hella long — but it was freezing cold and standing still wasn’t going to help. So, we...

Quick Walk Around the Block from the Hotel

There is no such place as a major city without a McDonald’s [well, except Nairobi]. And we Americans, even when we’re in foreign countries and are open to trying foreign foods and experiencing the foreign experience, well, we like McDonald’s. Is trying the McTurco burger trying out new foods? It’s always interesting to see what we consider...

Elanaz Hotel Makes Turkey Visit Perfect

I don’t know what it is about Turkey, but I already love it. Maybe it’s because I read the entire history of the Ottomans. Or because this tiny waterway was so sought after, empires went to war for it. Over and over. It has such a rich history, every time you read a new book, you learn something new. The first thing that caught me off guard, just leaving...

Taking a Detour on the Way Back Home

The worst part of traveling is having to say goodbye. When you first get a on a plane to go to wherever you’re going, there’s an excitement, anticipation that grips you as you embark. When you’re facing the same route in reverse, it’s meloncholy. The trip home isn’t the same.
This time, though, we did something a little different.

Who Knew That Kenya Had Such a Funky Jazz Scene!?

Whenever I travel, I’m drawn to the most out of the way adventure I can find. Visiting the sites seen on postcards is cool, I guess, but I like being surrounded by the local, in the locals’ environment, feel how they live everyday with or without the gawkers like me taking their picture. Nduku, though, I guess wanted to make sure I see the other part of...