20100711-1024 CEST - I'm Still Alive

Hey everybody. Sorry for the lack of updates. I'm still alive. Just busy. I'll try and get some more pictures posted by the end of the month.

20100410-2119 CEST - Turkey Part 1 - Istanbul

Wow. So much for meeting goals, huh? By "the end of this week" I meant "some time in April." Yikes. Better late than never? Without further ado..... pictures from Istanbul! Ok, maybe a little more ado. This trip was actually back in May 2009, with my brother, sister-in-law, and nephew. They came to visit Europe for about five weeks, and spent one of those weeks with me in Turkey. We flew in on a Sunday, and after catching a taxi to our hotel, we took the hotel shuttle to downtown Istanbul. After we got dropped off, we walked over to Topkapı Palace. We walked around the palace grounds a bit, and I took a panorama of the view across the Bosphorus of the Asian side of Turkey.

Turkey - Istanbul - Asian coast

Turkey - Istanbul - Asian coast

It was already late in the day when we were done with the palace, so we headed back to the hotel and called it a night. Speaking of the hotel, here's what the view looked like from our room:

Turkey - Istanbul - View from hotel room 2.jpg

Turkey - Istanbul - View from hotel room

Pretty nice, huh? On our second day, we went and had some breakfast on the way to the Grand Bazaar. That was a crazy experience. Lots of people, constant worrying about getting pickpocketed, etc. After the bazaar, we went to the Sultan Ahmed Mosque, which is commonly known as the Blue Mosque. The "panoramas" I took here weren't very panoramic, but they did allow me to make pictures that show much more than the average camera can capture in a single frame.

Turkey - Istanbul - Blue Mosque entrance.jpg

Turkey - Istanbul - Blue Mosque entrance

Turkey - Istanbul - Inside Blue Mosque.jpg

Turkey - Istanbul - Inside Blue Mosque

After the Blue Mosque, we went to the Basilica Cistern, a large underground chamber that used to be used to store water. A scene from the movie "From Russia With Love" was filmed in the cistern.

Turkey - Istanbul - Basilica Cistern.jpg

Turkey - Istanbul - Basilica Cistern

After dinner, we scouted around for a good spot for me to take a panorama that had both mosques in it. While we were looking, I found a nice overhead view of a cafe that made a cool pano:

Turkey - Istanbul - Cafes.jpg

Turkey - Istanbul - Cafes

We finally found a hotel that had a rooftop restaurant with a nice view, and decided to come back and have breakfast there the next day. Here are the results of the "photo shoot" from the roof:

Turkey - Istanbul - View of Asian side from breakfast.jpg

Turkey - Istanbul - View of Asian side from breakfast

Turkey - Istanbul - Aya Sofia.jpg

Turkey - Istanbul - Aya Sofia

Turkey - Istanbul - Blue Mosque.jpg

Turkey - Istanbul - Blue Mosque

And finally, the 360 degree view of the mosques that I had been looking for:

Turkey - Istanbul - Mosques 360

After breakfast, we went to the Hagia Sophia church, also known as Aya Sofia. We walked around inside the church for a while, then went back to the hotel to pack up, check out, and catch our flight to Bodrum, where we spent the next few days. Those pictures will be in Turkey Part 2.

In other news, I broke my left pinky during Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu class on Monday. It's going to be a few weeks before I can participate in class again. Here's a picture of the break:

Broken pinky - circled

I'll try and have more Turkey pictures up soon.

20100215-1645 EET - Busy as always

Anyone still there? No? I figured as much. Happy New Year! Haha - only a month and a half late. While I'm at it, happy MLK Jr. Day, happy Groundhog Day, happy Valentine's Day, and happy Presidents Day. I went on trips for all those holidays, and on a few other days, too. So far this year, I've already been to Paris, Vienna, Bratislava, Bucharest, and back to America twice! I think I've been gone more than I've been home so far.

At some point, I hope to get some more pictures posted. I'm still working on them in chronological order, which means I'm still working on pictures from Turkey that I took back in May 2009. I'm setting myself a goal of having some of them posted by the end of this week. But don't hold me to that. ;)

Adam and I are in the lounge at Henri Coandă International Airport in Bucharest, waiting for our flight back to Frankfurt. With all the traveling I've been doing, I've been very thankful to have access to the lounge. It makes having to wait around a little less painful.

We need to board soon, so bye for now. Hopefully I'll have some pictures up by the end of the week.

20091210-2210 CET - Düsseldorf (a loooong time ago, but in this galaxy)

A quick post, because I'm tired and don't feel like writing much. New pictures! For the first time in... quite a while. These are from back in May (!) when my brother Jeff and his wife and son came to visit. I flew back from the States on a Friday, and the next day we piled into my car and drove up to Düsseldorf to visit one of my sister-in-law's friends who lives there. They showed us around town a bit, and then turned us loose to go into the Rheinturm, which is the big TV tower in the city. Unfortunately the weather was quite lousy that day so the pictures didn't come out that great, but here they are anyway. First a picture of the tower itself, and then several views from it:

Germany - Düsseldorf - Rheinturm

Germany - Düsseldorf - Rheinturm

Germany - Düsseldorf - View north from Rheinturm

Germany - Düsseldorf - View north from Rheinturm

Germany - Düsseldorf - View northeast from Rheinturm

Germany - Düsseldorf - View northeast from Rheinturm

Germany - Düsseldorf - View west from Rheinturm

Germany - Düsseldorf - View west from Rheinturm

We stayed the night in Düsseldorf, and the next morning we went to get some breakfast and check out part of the harbor. There are a couple of interesting buildings down there, including one that has little colored statues climbing all over it.

Germany - Düsseldorf - Harbor buildings

Germany - Düsseldorf - Harbor buildings

Germany - Düsseldorf - New construction

Germany - Düsseldorf - New construction

We got on the road around noon from Düsseldorf, and headed for Köln, just down the Rhein river. We spent a couple hours in Kö, then headed back to my apartment. I left the next day on a work trip, and when I got back, we all went to Turkey for a week. While we were there, I took just over 1600 pictures, a couple of which I posted before. But, I haven't stitched any of the panoramas yet. They're next on my list! Unfortunately, with my holiday travel schedule, I probably won't have the time to stitch them until after the new year. Once I actually get around to it, my new computer should help me to process pictures super fast, so hopefully it won't take too long.

Until next time!

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