Dec 122013

I’ll be up front here: I’m not going to do Istanbul justice. I’m not going to even pretend to. I landed at 9a, having been up since 1a Istanbul time, and I was pretty tired. My main goal was to rest up in between stops, maybe see a few things, and have some good Turkish food. I did alright all things considered!

Finally out of the hotel around 11:30 after I got checked in and re-caffeinated, and it was off to the old town. The hotel suggested I walk about 10-15 minutes to the nearest tram stop, and then take the tram all the way. Awesome call, because it allowed for seeing some of the city along the way.

Got to the old town, wandered a bit, and soon was coming up to the Blue Mosque.  Outside, is an obelisk:


The outside of the Blue Mosque:


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Dec 202012

Unfortunately, due to workload, I didn’t have a whole lot of time to tour Dakar, much less get to see the neighbouring countries. However, at least I managed to hit a few primary attractions. My main goal was to get to see Île de Gorée or Gorée Island – a major holding place where tens of thousands of slaves were sent to the Americas.  I decided to walk to the port and along the way got to see a few sights.  First, the Hôtel de Ville or City Hall of Dakar:

to get there, I passed through the Place de l’Independence.  Now, normally, I think of “Independence Squares” as being grand places, filled with monuments and kept extra clean because they have lots of nationalistic pride, etc.  Not so much in Dakar, but again this is part of what I love about the developing world, and Africa in specific.  Places feel more “real” at times, a bit edgy, lived-in, and not so sterile.

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Dec 212011

So as I mentioned after well over 15-17 miles of walking the previous day – I still had Sunday to explore Buenos Aires.  I definitely wasn’t up for much more walking, so the plan was to explore the metro system and some other parts of the city.  I especially (being a transit geek) wanted to see the A line of the metro that dates back nearly 100 years and still has the original wooden cars!  This is going to be mostly a picture post, with a few comments.  Also, I’m going to merge this post with my post from the following Thursday.  It was also a holiday, so I spent both these days doing low-key sightseeing.

Decided the first thing I wanted to do was see the Palermo neighbourhood, mostly because I’d heard great things.  It was also the home of the Botanical Gardens and Zoo which I wandered.  A couple of pics, including a Yerba Mate bush:

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Dec 172011

I was originally going to make this one post on sightseeing, but then going through pictures I realized just how much I’d seen on Saturday alone and decided to split this into a few different posts.  The cool thing about Buenos Aires to me was what a walkable city it was.  Wide avenues, lots of sidewalks, and tons of cool and unique things to see along the way.

First stop out of the hotel was the memorial to those killed in the Islas Malvinas / Falkland Islands war.  It’s proof the great sense of irony the Argentines have that they placed this directly across the street from the English Clock Tower which was a gift from England around World War I.  The two monuments now stand facing each other, as if to say “this isn’t over yet.”

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