Day 424 in Beijing: Turkey and Greece.


Jill and Gulzar underneath the Trojan Horse.

Jill and Gulzar underneath the Trojan Horse.

Jill and I thought this was a fitting part of our visit to World Park since we were heading off to Turkey and Greece in just a few days and were incredibly excited.

A little aside here, we are in Greece at this moment, since I write these posts about 1-2 weeks in advance.  I can’t tell you how Greece has been but Turkey was amazing beyond belief.

I plan to write the next 2 months of blog posts on our travel to Turkey and Greece once we return to Beijing since there is so much to see, do and write about in just two weeks of travel so far.

Trust me, if you ever get a chance to go to Turkey or Greece, do it.

In fact, do it now.

And that is coming from an Armenian.

Well, the Hagia Sofia in the World Park was a bit hilarious and a bit disappointing since Jill and I have both seen it in real life and it is utterly impressive and massively huge in all dimensions.

The good part of that is we were ready for the real thing and to be blown away, once again, by the awesomeness of the Hagia Sofia (by the way, we were blown away when we saw the real thing a few days later.  The Hagia Sofia is mindblowingly huge and inspiring).

We walked on and noticed the Trojan Horse.

I have to really question the ability to get a whole army into this little horse and kill enough soldiers to win a war but we are in the World Park so we just took some pictures and laughed about it.

Last, but not least, was the Acropolis and took some pictures of the Parthenon.

Again, by the time you read this post, we will have seen it, in real life, and I’ll be posting about it in the near future.

Jill and I are very much looking forward to seeing the Acropolis and being able to take some pictures of it and see the history that is truly alive in this part of the world.

FYI, I write down what I’m going to write blogs on and, just from the first 2 weeks of this trip, I have over 50 different posts that will have to be done.

Therefore, I’m expecting to have over 100 blog posts when we are done with our whole month long trip to Turkey and Greece.

Trust me, it will be an amazing read and I welcome you to join us on our real journey!

ps. I want to give a shout out to my cousin, Alexis Averbuck, who is the writer for the Lonely Planet: Greece edition.  She gave us a lot of great information and advice on what to do and where to go.  Thanks cuz!


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Day 416 in Beijing: Installing the Air Conditioning Unit, Part 5


Testing to see if the air conditioning actually works.

Testing to see if the air conditioning actually works.

After all that craziness, we supposedly had a working air conditioning unit.

Just like in the USA, when someone installs something, you always want to make sure it works right before they leave the apartment.

Well, this is doubly true in China because all of the controls are in Chinese script and we sure as heck can’t read those instructions.

So, we let our landlords check it and then explain it to us.

They seemed to have bought the most simple remote control because this one only has about 5 buttons and we’ve seen some that have over 20.

Yes, over 20 different buttons for a simple air conditioner.

Thankfully, when our landlord pushed the power button, the air conditioning turned on and it works perfectly.

We could not be more thankful and happy to be living where we are and to have the amazing landlords we have at this time.

Also, thanks to the wonderful installation guys and the quick work they did.

Overall, it probably took about 45 minutes to remove and install the air conditioning units.

By the way, it has been hovering around 95-100 degrees a day in the past week in Beijing.

Luckily, Jill and I have been sitting by the beaches in Turkey and will soon be headed to Greece instead of having to deal with the heat and pollution of Beijing.


Day 404 in Beijing: And We Are Out Of Here!


A beautiful view of the mosques in Istanbul.

A beautiful view of the mosques in Istanbul.

I hope you enjoy the next week or so of blog posts because I won’t be able to update them much since Jill and I will be in Turkey and Greece.

We leave today and return on August 15th so we will be gone for exactly one month.

We have been in China, non-stop, for 7 months and are extremely excited to get away and have some peace and quiet.

Istanbul will be busy but we will be hanging out with friends, and some family, and just enjoying it for the first week.

Trust me, compared to Beijing, nothing is busy and anywhere is quiet.

Jill has been to Turkey three times and I’ve been there once so we have some familiarity with it and the people.

We have always loved going there and meeting with people who are very open and friendly.

We will start, and end, our trip in Istanbul.

We are going to go to Cappadocia and do a balloon ride through the Fairy Chimneys.

Then to Pammakule to see the perfect blue waters and natural white thermal pools.

We are also going to other parts of Turkey but those are the highlights.

We will then go to four different islands in Greece including Naxos, Paros, Santorini and Mykonos.

We will spend about 3 days on each island and Jill will be able to celebrate her 41st birthday on Naxos.

Last year she celebrated in China and we think this is a very nice way to celebrate Jill.

Who knows where we will celebrate her birthday next year?  The world is our oyster!

We will head of Athens for two days and see the sites and then head back to Istanbul to finish off our trip and grab our flight back to Beijing on the 15th of August.

I’ll do my best to post a few pictures of our travels and hope you enjoy them.

I’ll be doing more full blog posts when I get back to Beijing and have time to sort through everything and figure out what I want to write about regarding our trip.

Here are a few pictures from Jill’s past visits to give you an idea of what we will be seeing and doing when we arrive in Istanbul.


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