These is a photo collage of some shots from back in August when I moved and we took a little afternoon trip to the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium.
My new institution of higher learning is way neato. Most of my classes for the duration of my time here will be held in the Cathedral of Learning, which is a zillion floors high and looks like Hogwarts in the inside.*
One of the cool features is the nationality rooms, which celebrate individual countries. Unfortunately I won’t be taking any classes in them, but I enjoyed exploring! Here are some visual highlights. (Excuse the photo quality for now; still working sans internet and am posting this from my phone.)
Photo 1: clockwise from top left: main hall, Armenian alphabet in the Armenian room, Austrian room.
Photo 2: clockwise from top left: Turkish room (those lighter colored wood panels double ask fold-down desks!), African heritage and Indian rooms.
Something I’ve learned about life, which has been only reinforced by travel, is that you never know where you’re going to find magic.
It can be in a shared experience with a stranger, kind words, or seeing a treasured sight for the first time.
Or, as in this photo, it can be on a windy beach in Sonoma County in June, when my father picked up a piece of driftwood to create some sand art.
Although relatively well known in Europe as Slovenia’s biggest festival, I had no clue what kurentovanje was until I started researching my trip to Slovenia in early January. The photos alone prompted me to book my accommodation: huge groups of people running down the street in full body sheepskin costumes, horns and feathers, wearing bells and shaking their groove thing to ring them.
I had to see this in person.
So on Saturday, February 10 I arrived in Ptuj, Slovenia’s oldest city, home to a castle, famous spas, Slovenia’s oldest wine cellar and kurentovanje.
Today, Boris and I had lunch with a couple of friends. They insisted we eat iskembe soup before we left Turkey.
Iskembe is a tripe soup frequently found throughout the Balkans and Turkey. Made from cow’s stomach and other cow & sheep offal, including sheep head meat, you add chili flakes, vinegar, garlic and some lemon juice.
No, I did not know exactly what I was eating but I knew it was related to kokoreç because our friend let it slip. I think I would have been able to identify the taste though, even if he hadn’t…
Galata Tower was originally built of wood and erected as a lighthouse in the year 528 AD. About 700 years later, it was reconstructed using stack stone, and stands today as one of the architectural witnesses to Istanbul’s rich history.
Over the course of its life, Galata Tower has been used as an astronomical observation point, and a watch tower for the fire brigade (although apparently that didn’t prevent its destruction by fire a few times). Although it has been damaged and rebuilt a number of times, it is the oldest tower in the world still available for visitors to take the elevator to the top and admire the city.
I finally made it to the Hagia Sophia. You’d think being in Istanbul for a month would warrant an immediate trip. Better late than never, right? I’ll post more photos soon, although I regret to say that the lighting inside the incredible building is not super for my regular old point & shoot. Starting to wonder whether it’s time to invest in a real camera…Anyway, enjoy this sneak peek!
|Doggies appreciating the beautiful January day in Sariyer, Istanbul.|
Our neighborhood has dozens of stray dogs who wander the streets. Boris has named many of them and since arriving, a couple newbies have showed up whose monikers I’ve helped coin: Prince Graceful, Mange, Spotty, Beyaz Peynir to name a few.
We spotted the two above during our walk along the waterfront. The golden looking out along the water looked so wistful and wise, so we named him Odysseus. The dog hanging out with him doesn’t have a name as appropriate to share, as one time she chased Boris down the street and he doesn’t like her temperament very much… 🙂