Tag-Archive for » Fountains «

Walking Portland, Burning Calories After One Serious Burger!

Work took me to a conference in Portland [Oregon, not Maine] for a few days. I heard a lot about Portland, about the Pacific Northwest in general, mostly about the rain, how much people like outdoor activities, and that they don’t do sweet tea like it’s done in the south.

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SW Hawthorne Bridge crossing the Willamette River.

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The Hagia Sophia

Hagia Sophia seen from the Bosphorus Strait

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 it a point to rise early the next morning to make sure I got to get inside before heading to the airport to come home.

Though the Blue Mosque looks so much more compelling physically, there’s no denying the extraordinary history of Hagia Sophia.

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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 Meydanı or Sultanahmet Meydanı) by the Roman emperor Theodosius I in the 4th century AD.

Theodosius Obelisk Istanbul Turkey

The obelisk was first set up by Thutmose III (1479–1425 BC) to the south of the seventh pylon of the great temple of Karnak. The Roman emperor Constantius II (337-361 AD) had it and another obelisk transported along the river Nile to Alexandria to commemorate his ventennalia or 20 years on the throne in 357. The other obelisk was erected on the spina of the Circus Maximus in Rome in the autumn of that year, and is today known as the Lateran obelisk, whilst the obelisk that would become the obelisk of Theodosius remained in Alexandria until 390, when Theodosius I (378-392 AD) had it transported to Constantinople and put up on the spina of the Hippodrome there.

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Nduku’s Trip to London, England

Whenever we go on a trip, I’m the designated photographer. Partly because I’ve done it all my life; partly because Nduku doesn’t really take a lot of photos. When her work sent her to London a for a week, though, I was impressed that she took more than five pictures!

I can’t remember where all these places are, what she told me about each of these photos, but here they are anyway.

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The Architecture of Bucharest’s Buildings

We got our self-guided walking tour of Bucharest started at Strada Pictor Barbu Iscovescu and walking up to Piaţa Romană. Those are street names. I think. Advertising in Bucharest is quite bold. Larger than life. Coke and Pepsi are having it out with which company can out-scream the other.

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Dubai Aquarium, Burj Khalifa, Jumeirah Beach Walk — Did I Mention How Uber-Rich Everyone Is?

Nduku has three sisters, each with at least one child. Najwa has a total of seven first cousins if you include my brother’s three children. She has dozens more second and distant cousins since Nduku has 20+ aunts and uncles. Family tree? Najwa has a family forest!

Of all the first cousins though, Alexander is the first one she met. Not that either of them will remember this moment, but it was good to introduce Najwa to her first first cousin. When we landed in Dubai around midnight, Alexander was asleep. The next morning when the cousins met, let’s just say they weren’t as excited to meet as we were for them to meet.

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