We are back from vacation. I met Angie in Istanbul after business in Budapest and we started our adventure. We toured Istanbul: Azerbaijan: Armenia: Georgia: Sochi, Russia and around the Black Sea. We swam in the Black and Caspian Seas and saw many of the highlights in the Southern Caucuses. We had at least 11 flights on following airlines: LOT, Delta, Azerbaijan Air, Georgia Air, Aeroflot, Turkish Airlines, Utair, Buta, and Ural Airlines.
In Turkey we watched the election results coming in naming Erdogan as President, again. We happened to be in Baku Azerbaijan on "Military Day". The timing made it pretty easy to get some nice pics as the Mi8/17 helicopters and MiG 29s (or are they SU 27s) along with KA27 helos that flew by our hotel room on the 26th floor of the Flame Hotel. It isn't everyday you find burning gas coming straight out of the ground. Yes, it is very hot. You can only stand there few dozen seconds. We got to fly on a Sukhoi Superjet 100 for a first. It is spartan, quiet, and nice. It appears to be very similar to an Embraer. The twisted scrap metal in Armenia is an old derelict roadside sculpture denoting Soviet progress. We worked on a separate photo essay on just that one piece.
- The biggest dandelion I have ever seen.
- Bukhanka "Loaf of Bread" van outside a seminary building. I like the light beam and the story the picture tells.
- Mini Market-- I am getting good at reading Cyrillic. Many words have a latin root tied between English and Russian. When you sound-out the cyrillic, you can often times figure out what the word is in English. In the case of the mini-market sign, it sounds-out as "producti" or "products". The people who run the store are Armenian (in Russia). They were excited because I was the first foreigner that had ever entered the store.
- Some art and paintings from the worlds oldest cathedral in Armenia.
Around the Black Sea