The Basilica Cistern is the largest of several hundred cisterns found under the Turkish city of Istanbul. A large basilica stood in its place before being converted to a cistern by the early Romans. When we visited the underground site the first thing we thought of was Dan Brown’s new book, “Inferno.” If you have read the book, you will know exactly what I’m talking about, but I won’t ruin it for anyone who has not read it. After entering we noticed that the water inside the cistern has large fish swimming around. We happened to have some bread with us and had fun feeding them. The cistern was actually our favorite amongst all the tourist sites we visited in Istanbul.
On our recent stay in Goreme, Turkey we could not help but notice how colorful the town became at night. The fairy chimneys and mosque minarets are lit up in various colors and it feels like you are in a very magical place. With a tripod and camera gear in a backpack, we hiked up to a bluff that overlooks the city for some long exposure night photography fun. Here is the result!
On our recent journey through Bulgaria we learned that there are incredible Roman ruins in Bulgaria’s second largest city of Plovdiv. Not being able to resist seeing more Roman ruins we visited Plovdiv and discovered this amazing ancient theatre of Philippopolis. After seeing Roman theatres all over Europe, this has got to be the nicest one we have seen!
During our stay in Brasov, Romania we have discovered the great hiking trails that lead to the top of Mt. Tampa. The climb is steep and will take you 1300 vertical feet above the city which offers great views. Also on the top of Mt. Tampa is the giant Hollywood styled “BRASOV” sign and at the top of the gondola there is a nice little restaurant where you can grab food and a beverage. Wait, did I just say there was a gondola to the top? For those not wanting to spend an hour battling a steep incline and switchbacks, you can take a quick gondola ride to the top. But that’s cheating!