The first half of the second semester of the MBA flew by, filled to the brim with classes, projects, nights out, and weekends away. Our second semester was broken into two halves: 2a and 2b. 2a was structured like any normal semester, with a more normal amount of classes this time (5), albeit smushed into a much shorter time frame, which meant class times and days were long. 2b however was slightly different, with blocks of elective courses that didn’t all overlap. We all had to sign up for two classes during this second block with the option to audit additional courses. Once 2b was complete, all that was left of the MBA was to complete our dissertations over the summer. Continue reading
Right after we got back from Paris, we had some visitors. My friend Jenny and her sister were on a tour of the UK and had worked their way north to Edinburgh. Jenny and her family came to Edinburgh right after we moved here, but back then we were still getting our bearings. This time, I felt like I was much more prepared to show them the best of the city.
Day 1: Le Tour Eiffel, Arc de Triomphe, & Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris
For Valentine’s Day we decided it would be nice to go to Paris. Paris had been on my list of cities we had to hit while living in Europe; I’d been before back in 2009 on my first trip to Europe, but I had fallen in love with it and couldn’t wait to return. Well life happened, I spent Valentine’s Day in the Highlands with the MBAs and then we decided to go to Turkey. So Paris got pushed back. But we did eventually make it. We took a flight on a Friday eventing after we’d finished classes and landed just after dinner time. We made our way from the airport to our Airbnb in the 6th arrondissement next to the Luxembourg Gardens and by that point we were famished. We’d walked past an empanadas place that looked good – we have a major weakness for stuffed pastries – and decided that would be the perfect way to start off our Parisian weekend. Continue reading
On our third and final day in Istanbul we started out close to home with a climb up the Galata Tower. We’d walked by the tower a couple of times, but decided to save the visit for a clear day. The tower was built in 1348 (though it’s gone through restorations and several roof replacements since then) and at the time of its construction was the tallest building in the city.
From the top you get amazing 360 degree views of the city, the Bosphorus, and the surrounding areas. It was pretty cool to see the whole of Istanbul laid out in front of us and to see all the landmarks we’d visited so far. Continue reading
Our second morning in Istanbul dawned bright and clear and we woke refreshed, ready to tackle some of the city’s most famous sites. We were happy to see the sun and relatively blue skies after the grey of the day before and it seemed as if the sun had burned off the worst of the snow. We took a tram from our Airbnb in the Galata neighborhood across the river to Sultanahmet, where it was a short walk to the incomparable Hagia Sophia.
Our trip to Istanbul was born out of the death of another trip. Our big end-of-summer adventure in the West Bank, Israel, Jordan, and Egypt was abandoned mere days before it was supposed to begin after the husband was evacuated from Ramallah during the unrest in July/early August of 2014. I’d purchased my ticket to Tel Aviv through Turkish Airlines and, given the nature of the trip cancellation and the fact that Turkish Airlines had canceled all flights into Tel Aviv for several weeks that summer, I was given airline credit for the value of my flight. Flash forward several months and we were looking into our options for using the credit. Easy solution? Istanbul. The credit was enough to pay for two round-trip flights from Edinburgh and the flight time was short enough for a long weekend trip. Continue reading