Category The Great European Adventure

Despite What You May Have Heard, Athens is Pretty Nice!

After Istanbul, Katie and I hopped a flight to Athens, Greece. I’ve spoken to a number of travelers who found this city too dangerous, too dirty, and too touristy. I have one friend who, when you ask her about Athens, replies, “well, I stepped off the bus into a drug deal, so, that was my […]

Istanbul: Last Look

On our last night in Istanbul, Katie and I went to Hodjapasha Culture Center to witness the Sema (in English: Sama) Ceremony. This is a dance ceremony performed by the Mevlevi Order of Sufism (a mystical Islamic tradition), but you’ve probably heard them called “whirling dervishes” because of the revolving, rotating, spinning movements that make […]

Understanding Istanbul

There were many things I liked about Istanbul: The steep, narrow streets that led Katie and me to Galata Tower, which, mercifully, had an elevator and rewarded us with this view: The contrast between the Hagia Sophia’s somewhat faded exterior and its cavernous, rich interior. The tea that our hostel always had on offer. The […]

Guest Post: Pampering Yourself Turkish Style

(This guest post is from Katie Little, who was my backpacking buddy for three weeks, and, as such, appears frequently on the blog. When she’s not busy being written about on An Opportune Moment, she’s working at an animal hospital, practicing her sign language, or trying to convince herself that teaching English in South Korea […]

Turkish Tea: Dark, Rich, and Economically Sustainable

Maybe you’ve heard of Turkish coffee, known for being thick, dark, and rich in flavor. Well, Turkish tea is actually quite similar. Traditionally made in two kettles, which are stacked on top of one another, the larger bottom kettle is the one that is filled with water. Once boiled, the water is poured into the […]

Istanbul: First Impressions and a note about the demonstrations

I visited Istanbul last November. In light of recent political events, I’m apprehensive of writing about my time in this city. I don’t want to trivialize what’s happening by writing casually about my experiences as a tourist, but I also don’t want to skip over this part of my trip or act as if traveling […]

Budapest: Last Look

The one place almost no one skips when they visit Budapest is the Széchenyi Thermal Baths. Photos of the bright blue outdoor pools juxtaposed with the buildings’ yellow facades have become quintessential images of this city. My advice if you choose to visit the thermal baths (which you absolutely should because, hello, 3 outdoor and […]

Solo Travel and Self Care in Budapest

Budapest would be the end of my solo travels, at least for a few weeks. It was my last stop before meeting up with my friend, Katie, and I had big plans for my last few days alone. But, by the time I arrived, I was tired. I’d been on the road for 6 weeks, […]

Art Museum-hopping in Vienna

Vienna was not on my original itinerary for The Great European Adventure, but when I told people that I was visiting Prague and Budapest, a number of friends replied, “and you’re not going to Vienna?!” Prague, Vienna, and Budapest seem to be the quintessential trio of central European travel destinations, and who am I to […]

Prague: Last Look

In this photo, taken in Prague’s Jewish Quarter, you can see a portion of the Old Jewish Cemetery, which is home to approximately 12,000 tombstones and was in use between the early 15th century and 1787. You can visit the cemetery along with five preserved synagogues (notably Pinkas Synagogue) and historical buildings, which together make […]