In Which Ariana Goes to Hungary. Obviously.

Tag: travel

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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Szeged was so pretty. I was very glad that I went.

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Vyšehrad (sound familiar?) and some more Prague

It just means ‘upper castle’, and the one in Prague is not quite so high or gothic as the one in North Hungary, but it does have some spectacular views.

I spent most of Sunday walking through the parks and gardens of Prague, inadvertently making a huge circuit of the city (over 10 k, I’m glad I brought my good shoes). It was kind of grey and gross that day so I didn’t try to photograph everything, but here’s a view from the park looking south up the Moldau:

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Sunshine and Lilacs

That evening, I climbed a hill in the newer part of the city to watch the sun set.

It was beautiful.

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Prague Castle

I woke up at 6:30 on Saturday, due to the large volume of inordinately cheerful Germans who stormed the dormitory. Giving up sleep as a bad job, I hiked over the river, found a hotel who was willing to sell me some time at their buffet, and settled down with three cups of coffee and some bread and jam to wait for a more reasonable hour. By 9, I was ready to go, so I climbed up to the Prague Castle.

The gate was swarming with people waiting for the changing of the guard. It was so weird to be here again after six years–the last time I was in this part of Europe, I was 14 and with my orchestra.

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