Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Belated Posts From August

Here are some of entries that were previously left out...
Live in Europe, Work in Asia: My Visit To Istanbul (6 - 10 Aug)

As part of an upcoming big corporate meeting I was helping to organize for my company, I visited our distributor in Turkey to support some materials preparation.

My hotel was located at a very tourist friendly Taksim square in the European part of Istanbul. The distributor's office was situated on the part of Istanbul on the Asian continent. Every morning during my trip, I had to leave Europe, where I'm sleeping, by car to go to work in Asia.

During my visit, I was recommended to visit Odakoy, where I took this impressive picture above. In the foreground is the Odakoy mosque. In the background, one of the three bridges connecting Europe on this side to Asia on the far side is showing.

A lot of restaurants and pubs can be found around Odakoy mosque. Because of the nice seafront view the place offers, the restaurants and pubs were frequented by tourists and local alike. A row of bazaar is also located between the pubs and seafront marketing all sorts of souvenirs, arts and crafts and even second hand books.

Odakoy was definitely a cool discovery for me during the trip, except that I was alone and it got kind of boring.

A Farewell Party

It seems kind of strange that after being based in Lebanon for over 3 years, this was the first time I was invited to the house of a Lebanese and it was for Xinyi and my farewell.

But when we arrived to his beautiful home, we discovered to our delight that our host had spared no efforts in making sure that we were comfortable and well fed. The fare was a sumptuous spread of cold cuts, cheese and wine. Besides, his wife made us the much-touted-in-the-office "monkey bread" and an American cheesecake to top up the dinner also attended by several colleagues.

Yummy Cheesecake courtesy of Mdm. Derkaloustian

Nice and Monte Carlo: 17th - 22nd Aug

About the big corporate meeting I mentioned in the Istanbul section above? It was held in Nice.

For me it was a nice gesture from the company (no pun intended) because I've visited Algeria on the south side of the Mediterranean sea and resided in Lebanon on the east coast, so visiting Nice allowed me to see the north side of the sea.

Actually, it was torturing to go to Nice for work. While the alluring pristine Mediterranean beckons, I had to force myself to think about the smooth execution of the corporate meeting (I was one of the organizers. We had a great team of organizers by the way...)

Nevertheless, I was able to explore the Cote d'Azur using non working hours such as evenings or during my morning run. Here are some of my photos:

Le Meridien, where we resided and its surroundings
A night shot of the corniche along Cote d'Azur.
Deck chairs enjoying the coolness of evening.
A lovely beach side restaurant was the place for our first dinner since arrival. Prices were a tad steep.Official welcome dinner was organized at this place, La Petite Maison. I was told it is a famous restaurant.
The beach is crowded with people! I cannot understand why? The beach is that great, they have pebble instead of fine sand. However, the scenery's great!
Two outdoor cafes somewhere in the old town Nice, called the Vieux. I cannot pronounce the name accurately in French without someone laughing.
On the last day of our meeting, our Monaco distributor hosted a dinner for us in Monte Carlo. Some of us got so high that everything was a blur.

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