Today I thought I'd share some photos from my recent trip abroad. It was a complicated itinerary, to be sure. First stop, Istanbul:
Of course we had to hit all the major sights. Here's the Blue Mosque and Aya Sofya,
directly across from each other in the main square of the Sultanahmet neighborhood.
I almost never take pictures of myself during my travels, but this time we traveled with Mark's sister and her husband,
who are better at remembering to capture the people and not just the places. On the right is the Basilica cistern.
Kitties everywhere! The running joke was, "Free kitten with every purchase!"
Istanbul straddles the European and Asian continents. Here's the view from the ferry,
leaving the European side and heading over to Asia.
The beautiful (and fragrant) spice bazaar.
The incredible tiled interior of the Blue Mosque.
The interior of the ancient Aya Sofya (aka Hagia Sophia).
The next stop on the trip for me was to work in Strasbourg, while Mark went back to London with his sister and her husband, who live there.
However I had an extra day to kill, so I spent a night in nearby Baden-Baden, which is 30 minutes by train from Strasbourg.
The town is peaceful and idyllic, the weather was perfect, and everything was in bloom; it's no wonder people came here
for their health in the 19th century. I felt healthier after just wandering around for 10 minutes.
The next morning I braved a long and very steep funicular ride to the top of the Merkur, a nearby mountain with
spectacular views over the Black Forest and as far as the Vosges mountain range in France.
After working for a few days in Strasbourg, I hopped the train to Paris, where I met Mark for the weekend before he left for home.
On Saturday we had lovely weather, and spent the morning going to the various shops gathering supplies for a
picnic at the Jardin du Luxembourg. We stayed in the Marais neighborhood, which is one of my favorite parts of Paris.
From Paris I flew to Edinburgh, where I had another work stop. But I arrived a couple days early so that I could catch up with my friends there and do a bit of sightseeing.
In another uncharacteristic act of braving extreme heights, I hiked to the top of the Scott monument
to take in the views of the old town and Princes Park.
After Edinburgh I had another work stop in Glasgow, and from there I flew to Reykjavik to spend the last days of my trip with my friend (and onetime blog contributor) Jess, who just moved there.
Ah, Reykjavik! It was so great to be back.
The big outing of the weekend was the road trip that Jess and I took around the Snaefellsness peninsula,
with the first stop at the beautiful fishing village of Stykkisholmur, one of my favorite towns in Iceland.
Jess has adorable pink anime hair these days.
At around 1 am we made it to Dritvik, a mysterious black sand bay with the rusted remains of a 1940's shipwreck strewn across the sand.
Still light at 1 am, one of the many great things about traveling in Iceland during the summer.
From Iceland I flew to Amsterdam, where I stayed overnight and caught a direct flight back to San Francisco the next morning. Whew! That was a lot of traveling, a lot of countries, and a lot of experiences. Oh yes, and there was a lot of shopping along the way too. I'll get a post together soon about my travel wardrobe (a particular challenge for so long a trip with so many different climates and activities) and the shopping I did along the way.