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Istanbul, land of turbans, spice and carpets

Entrance to small market

This is the land of cheap layovers on the way to Romania. Thanks to the invisible hand of the market, tickets to the airports that are close to where my fiancee lives were 50% cheaper when flying through Istanbul, with an overnight layover, than more direct flights. It was still cheaper when buying two nights in a hotel. So through Istanbul it was. I figured it might be my last trip alone, so it should be fun.

And it was. Istanbul is a very colorful and diverse city. You see all kinds of people getting along. And they have something us in the "west" don't have: time. Everywhere continue.

Alcatraz

The Rock

The Rock

This year started off well, with another trip to the USA, on a business trip to Mountain View. One of the things that I missed last time I was in San Francisco was Alcatraz. When I arrived there I realized that you need to buy tickets several weeks in advance, so it was too late by that time. So, this time, after I bought the plane tickets to San Francisco, I bought my ticket to Alcatraz :)))

One of my favourite movies when I was a kid was "The Rock", with Sean Connery and Nicholas Cage, which takes place in Alcatraz. Ever since then I wanted continue.

BAP

The concert hall

The Royal Concert Hall

In September I went to Belgium to work in a Google datacenter, near Mons, for two weeks. I took the op­por­tu­ni­ty and used the three weekends to wander around and visit a lot of places, including three capitals: Brussels, Amsterdam and Paris (hence the title of the post).

I flew to Amsterdam on Saturday morning. The first thing I wanted to do was to visit the Google office there, but it was in a commercial space, which is closed during weekends, so I couldn't get in :(. So, as I was looking around on Tri­pAd­vi­sor for where to go next, one thing kept drawing continue.

San Francisco and the so called Mountain View

Alcatraz

Alcatraz, where my childhood favorite movie was set, The Rock

After a week in New York and another one in hot, humid Richmond, where I had a very blessed time due to who was there, I finally arrived to the official des­ti­na­tion of my trip: Mountain View, where Google has more employees then the number of people who live in my hometown of Marghita.

The trip there consisted of a long and quite stressful day, which started off with a rush and not getting a chance to say good bye to all my new friends, then my plane getting delayed, almost missing my connecting flight, scratching my rental continue.

The Big Apple

Statue of Liberty

Mandatory Statue of Liberty picture

The Big Apple. New York. The greatest city in the world, as every tour guide in the city will tell you every 5 minutes.

I went for a business trip to the USA, to Mountain View, California, but before that I took two weeks of vacation: one in New York and one in Richmond (before I get any more questions as to why on Earth would I go there, it was for a Christian Conference).

I was very curious to see New York for myself. I had heard so many things about it: some people absolutely love it, others complain about the insane continue.

Trip to Geneva: part 1

CERN entrance

Last weekend I went to Geneva, to visit Ciprian, a friend who is doing an internship at CERN. He also happens to be a frequent reader of my blog :D.

Before joining the darkcomputer science side, I was a wannabe physicist. I went to lots of physics com­pe­ti­tions (and had some good results) and I even applied to the physics department at UBB. But in 12th grade I discovered that pro­gram­ming is also quite fun, and it has a greater payoff, so I decided to go study that. I don't regret this decision, but I still fondly remember the things that I learned from my awesome physics continue.