Archive for the ‘Turkey’ Category

Where the mosques are beautiful Part 1)

Second day

It was time for blue mosque! In Myanmar, we could not get into any mosque to my knowledge. I guess even female Muslims cannot get into the mosque (might be wrong, not too sure). That was why I had been so excited to get into the mosque.  It was huge as a typical building in Istanbul.

Blue Mosque Istanbul

That was my favourite shot for Blue Mosque. Just like a castle in the fairy tales.

I think many people in Myanmar have entered into a Church but I have not. But majority of them might not have been into a mosque but I have! Yeah!

Blue Mosque Istanbul

It’s that big!

Blue Mosque Istanbul.

Just corner view.

Then we had coffee at a local coffee shop, I ordered Iced Turkish coffee – in such a cold weather. *wink*. The cute part was that I had been wondering why they gave me two spoons before I found out that it was a stick of chocolate!

Chocolate Spoon

Iced Turkish Coffee and Chocolate Spoon!

On the way to dinner, I told my new Indian friend that my great grandpa was from India. Guess what he replied. “Oh, my grandma is from Burma, too!” Wow!

The dinner was fun and I felt too full after it.

Third Day

Aka last day. It was the time I had to go to a bazaar to buy something! And yes, we went to spice bazaar which gave me a completely different experience from other average shopping spaces. The sad thing was that there was not too much difference between using Singapore dollars and Turkish lira which means I couldn’t buy many things though I would love to.

Spice Bazaar Istnabul

Crowd at Spice Bazaar

I bought a chess board for my boyfriend – mostly the same thing that I bought for him from Nairobi. And I made up my mind to buy only chess boards (if possible) wherever I go. 😛 On top of that, I bought 10 key chains and 5 bracelets for my cousins, friends and colleagues. Choosing all those different designs and touches was a fun part.

The are a tons of different spices and some interesting things such as rose oil etc. The atmosphere was pretty different from Asia countries which made me feel excited. It was not too fanciful yet I couldn’t get my eyes off from anything. When I saw some traditional lamps, I felt like as if I was in Arab tales!

Istanbul Spice Bazaar

A spice shop.

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I had seriously never ever thought of going to Istanbul.  And I learnt that Istanbul is not the capital of Turkey only after receiving the ticket. What a shame!

So, it started with so called Europe’s best Turkish Airline. (I will save it for next post.) Istanbul airport was okay. I do not usually feel cold in air plane so I did not wear anything apart from a t-shirt. Once I got out of the plane, I was like “Crap, that is cold, man!” Grabbing the jacket out immediately, I walked super quit with the hope that I would feel warm faster if I could leave the airport sooner which actually made no sense.

First day

The immigration officer seemed shocked to learn a Myanmar visits his country. He browsed through my passport. (I was not sure what he would think about my visa which I obtained 15 hours before departure. (Procrastination level 9!).  I looked for a man with “MIT” sign and greeted him. He told me to spend some time at coffee shop as we would need to wait one more who was arriving in a short while. I had exchanged some dollars before wasting some time by setting new highscore in Temple Run 2. After the girl arrived, we headed to hotel.

Istanbul Airport

Vodafone made me think the good old days of being a ManU fan.

Once the bus started its journey, my first feeling was “Oh, that is real Europe”. A westerner might not be able to feel it, but as a very Asian, the sceneries full of trees without a single leave, the whitish look and those buildings, that was too different from an average Asia country and that awesome/awful feeling of coldness could make me feel as if I was in a movie or pictorial book.

Istanbul

That’s already so Europe for me.

Long story short (thank god I feel like shortening it now!),  on the arrival day, before we went to AyaSofya – an orthodox church >> mosque >> museum, we had spent some minutes at a mini cafe of a small hotel. I tried Turkish coffee which was not as delicious as seeing the place it originated.

Turkish Coffee

That was not from that hotel. But I would say almost exact same thing.

Then, we continued our walk to AyaSofya. I mean, even for a Buddhist, that HUGE building with mixed culture definitely displayed its awesomeness. I kept murmuring “That’s great! That’s awesome!” to myself. Here you read thousands more words.

Near AyaSofya

Near AyaSofya.

AyaSofya

I felt like I was small by watching the ceiling.

AyaSofya

I didn’t quite know what those represented. But just shooting around.

AyaSofya

Watch it carefully. It will start rotate. (Nah! this is not such cheap sharing on Facebook and it will not rotate although it is in beautiful circular shape.)

AyaSofya

A hint showing it had been a church.

AyaSofya

Le cat!

Despite the grandeur inside, I preferred the way we see it from outside. That whitish buildings which I would never forget was so appealing that I never stopped taking pictures. I even wished like I could move there to reside for a short while. 🙂

We walked back to the hotel. I had had a quick nap and washed my hair first time during travel. I do not usually feel like washing my hair during short trip but the organic soap at the hotel looked attractive to try so I just did it. I knew that I had not brought enough warm clothes and felt the cold like hell walking to AyaSofya so I just wore like four layer of clothes when we went out for dinner. The Seabass at the dinner was yummy and I just realized that many people more than I think love Roti or flat bread. In Nairobi, in Istanbul, in Singapore or in Myanmar, it is everywhere.

Istanbul flat bread

This actually was from day 2 dinner.

That night, I felt the effect of different time zone yet had a good sleep with the feeling Istanbul was awesome!

[To be continued.]