In Which Ariana Goes to Hungary. Obviously.

Last day abroad

I had been dying to visit the Anatolian side of Istanbul since my arrival, and clear skies on Sunday finally made it possible. So we took a ferry, leaving from the mouth of the Golden Horn and sailing up and across to the lovely area around Üsküdar.

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Saturday Afternoon

The Grand Bazaar is a warren of streets that were gradually covered over, housing more than 2000 tiny little shops.

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On Saturday, I visited Topkapı Palace, where the sultans and their harems lived until the new palace was built across the Golden Horn in the 1850s. It was beautiful.

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Wisdom, holy or otherwise

The Hagia Sophia is a spectacular conglomeration of church, mosque, and buttresses that sits like a massive tortoise opposite the blue mosque. Inside, many of the original decorations need restoration, but the grandeur of the site is undeniable.

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Istanbul, not Constantinople

I was staying just down the street from Sultanahmet square, the open park bordered on the south by the Blue Mosque:

and on the north by the Hagia Sophia Museum:

It was a pretty good location, is what I’m saying.

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Tiny Kitten Adventures

Istanbul is a town of many cats.

On my street in Sultanahmet.

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[So I’m home now, but there are a few things I feel I should add for completeness’s sake and if anyone is still reading this, there should be some interesting photos of Istanbul forthcoming in the next few days.]

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Rose Hill, or Ariana goes to Turkey a few days early

Gül Baba (Rose Father) was a famous Ottoman poet who lived in Buda during the late 1500s. When he died, he was buried on top of a hill just north of castle hill, in a lovely octagonal tomb surrounded by rose gardens. The tomb itself actually belongs to the Republic of Turkey, but it’s open to visitors needing a break from the city (or in my case, studying for finals).

The rose gardens themselves are small but spectacular.

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Things I’ll miss about Budapest

Lehel Market, in the northeastern section of central Pest, is one of my favorite markets. You can get everything there, and it’s very economical.

The meat counters. In the bottom left corner, you can see two people eating lángos, the delicious fried dough of Hungary. I could smell it from where I was standing.

The main market hall, where fruits and vegetables are sold. Unlike the big market, this one is mostly full of people from Budapest.

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Happy Birthday, Gram!

I saw these roses and thought of you. I hope you are having a really lovely spring back in Boulder. Can’t wait to see you again!

P.S. I’m glad you liked the pink mittens. 🙂