Daily Wanderlust: Molla-Celebi Mosque in Istanbul

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Nic Freeman.

Istanbul’s European Bosphorus shore is so rich with inspiring structures, like the Dolmabahçe Palace and Ortakoy Mosque, that the smaller wonders are sometimes overlooked.

Sitting quietly by the waterside, near the Kabataş funicular and ferry stations, is the delightful Molla-Celebi mosque, also known as Findikli Camii or The Hazelnut (by Brandon). Quaint by Istanbul mosque comparison, Molla-Celebi was built by famous Turkish Ottoman architect, Mimar Sinan, in the mid 1500s and remains a popular place of worship today.

The lean minarets and elegant dome of Molla-Celebi are best enjoyed from one of the nearby waterside ice-cream cafes, as the dying sun reflects from the Bosphorus Straight.


Daily Wanderlust: Sunset in Malmö, Sweden

There is a magic that comes with sunsets.

When that giant ball of red sinks deep into the horizon. When the colors cast are so vivid, you’d swear you’re in another reality. When you can almost hear the collective sigh of every other person around you as daylight gives way to twilight gives way to night.

In Sweden, this happens later than Las Vegas — to the tune of a few hours.

After a gorgeous dinner in the sustainable enclave of the West Harbour in Malmö, Sweden, my new friend (by way of paddle boarding), and I took some time to soak in the last sips of daylight on the boardwalk.

The sunsets here are prolonged, as if the sun just decides to hover where it is for hours, giving people permission to enjoy the day even longer.

On this night, that is precisely what we did.

Even after the sun disappeared behind the Baltic Sea and Denmark, I sat, staring at the beautiful remnants of the day, taking the last wisps of light and burning the memory of the Malmö sunset into my mind.

Editor’s Note: My time in Sweden is courtesy of Visit Sweden, however all opinions are my own. If you have questions regarding this, please read my disclosure policy.



Daily Wanderlust: Istanbul By Night

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post written by Nic Freeman.

As the sun sets in an amber haze over the horizon of lego-like buildings and mosque minarets, Istanbul transforms into a glowing mesh under the night sky. From one of the many rooftop terraces across the city, you can admire the sparkling beauty of Istanbul’s lights as they reflect off the mighty intercontinental Bosphorus Straight (by brandon). You can ponder how many millions of people are staring at the same starry view from terrace tops and how many people are wandering the neon-lit streets below.

To capture the essence of Istanbul in one night, enjoy the city views while eating mezze and drinking a glass of raki from a terrace bar in the thriving modern district of Beyoğlu.

Istanbul by night - looking over the Bosphorus and Marmara Sea

Istanbul by night – looking over the Bosphorus and Marmara Sea



Daily Wanderlust: Marstrand, Sweden

This archipelago in western Sweden is very much like me today. Sleepy.

A mid-morning ferry from the mainland to Marstrand has approximately four people on it. Including me.

Founded in the 1300s, this quaint island, which comes alive in the summer, is nearly deserted today. Which is a beautiful thing because it lets me go and wander around without having to dodge anyone.

The herring capital of Europe in the 1600s, today, people flock to this gorgeous  town for the sailing and nature.

In fact, when I stop in a hotel to question what goes on here in the off-season, the reply I receive is simple: people come here to wander around the island. With gray waters against granite outcroppings, along with the soft cry of seagulls, it is easy to be just like this woman in the photo: quietly relishing the moment of beauty.

Join me this week as I travel through Sweden! Follow along on Instagram and Twitter #myswedentrip, plus be sure to check back here for photos and more in the coming weeks!

Editor’s Note: My time in Sweden is courtesy of Visit Sweden, however all opinions are my own. If you have questions regarding this, please read my disclosure policy.


Daily Wanderlust: Berlin’s Hotel Adlon

The palatial Hotel Adlon, originally built in the early 1900s, was resurrected in the heart of Berlin following WWII (the main portion of the building was damaged in a fire caused by a Soviet soldier during the war).

In history, it is known as one of the most famous hotels in Europe between the two World Wars. It’s welcomed politicians, celebs, and has even been used as a set for movies. However, you may know it for something entirely different …

Look closely.

That balcony? It’s where Michael Jackson dangled his baby son, Blanket, in November 2002.


Daily Wanderlust: Formula 1 in Valencia, Spain

There were many things I got to enjoy during my visit to the Valencia region. For one, we ate. A lot. I had the best meal of my life in Alicante. And, we adventured. Or, tried to. I never have great luck with adventures, especially when it comes to sea navigation. We danced in the streets around bonfires. We chilled on the soft sand of the Mediterranean. And, we attended the Formula 1 Grand Prix races.

I never knew a thing about F-1 (or cared), until I saw the shiny red Ferrari with Alonso behind the wheel. Then, I was sold. Packed into the grand stand on a hot June day, we were up-close to all of the racing action.