Friday, November 17, 2006

turkish delights

i think this was one of the longest time that i was sick and of cos not counting the times when i was pregnant! was sick before leaving for istanbul...was not 100% recovered there and was sick again back home...the weather didn't help

due to the long flight to istanbul, even longer transit, the transit was 9 whole hours!! in dubai...luckily we took advantage of that and did some sightseeing & even shopping!...as we arrived rather early 5am...we search hard to find a good comfy bench with cushion as our bed for a few hours before daylight. dubai is one amazing city...it is growing faster than shanghai...it is said to have the tallest building up in 2008...of cos only visited the outer gates of the burj-al-arab...daddy didn't want to pay $190 for breakfast each...then went to the mall of the emirates...there was a ski resort within the mall...quite mind-blowing! snow in a desert.

the first nite in istanbul...once we reached the hotel, brushed teeth, clean-up and slept...it was such an exhausting journey!

the second day...was up at 3am...then force ourselves to sleep...was up again at 5am...gave up fighting with the body clock...and got ready for breakfast....was at the restaurant at 6:30am...still closed! walked the streets...freezing cooooold! back at 7 sharp to get breakfast...after that armed with a tourist map, camera...we headed to the Metro and learned to use their subway, train and tram system...it was pretty confusing at first...signage was bad! finally we landed at the sultanahmet area and was nicely greeted by a local who offered to take us around for the day...of cos we have to pay him...but i think that was money well spent...it was like having your own personal tour guide and he was very well-informed and made our visit to the blue mosque, hagia sophia, the hippodrome and topkapi palace very meaningful...(when we walked into these historical sites....you can hear us saying...."wow! wow!") it was another exhausting day...we walked so much until our feet and back hurts...of cos we stopped for some very sweet fruit cha and purposely find a table and sat in the sun! at the side-walk cafe. as we gave up on walking...we decided to take a boat cruise down the bosphorous to the asian side of the city...even after reaching...we were so tired we just didn't want to move but we found out that everyone must disembark...so we went down...walk a little and quickly bought the return ticket and jump on another boat back to the european side...had dinner at one of the restaurants by the sea...very nice view and it was also opposite the spice bazaar and mosque. daddy loved the food-kebabs...i think he has a secret ambition to start a turkish restaurant in KL! i was too tired...and due to the time difference...dinner time is my snoozing time in m'sia...so the body automatically shuts down...





third day still jet-lag! since we have familiarize ourself with the city, we went to the grand bazaar...all the shops sell almost the same things...belly dancing costumes, leather goods, stained glass momentos, clothes, carpets & kilims, tea-sets for serving turkish tea...it was a huge covered market...daddy wanted to get the belly dancing costume for erika...but i thot it was not a good idea! then we pass the university and went to one of the biggest mosque - suleymaniye mosque up in the hill...the i had to go to the little girls room...at the suleymaniye mosque, the toilets were ancient too!...of cos they installed proper plumbing....but it had very low ceiling....and small doors and you have to bend in order to go into one of the toilets...that was an experience....went down the hill...walked along the local housing areas...then we took a cab to visit the galata tower. the cabbie dropped us in beyoglu area about 1.5 km from the tower and asked us to walk!...eh...what to do...the road was closed...so we walked and to our surprise this was the best looking pedestrain street we have seen...wide open streets with beautiful ornate old tall buildings, churches, shops and restaurants on both sides...it was a very pleasant walk to the tower...on the way we saw lots of windows with yummy food...and we scheming on which to try when we get back from the tower...of cos we had lunch at one of the cafes...we took lamb, chicken and rice...actually a lot on our plate...then we notice the locals mostly eat...salads, soup and bread (they give bread free) for lunch...no wonder they all were slim! since already in turkey...we cannot miss the belly dancers...so we booked to have dinner with belly dancing!

no need to take slimming pills!



forth day...we wanted to do some shopping and found out that they have outlet malls...but quite far away from the city...went also la...quite dissapointing...not much outlets...but i was happy to find there was zara & levi's...so only bought some stuff there...on the way back on the tram...it was stuffy with lots of people...and my body must have been totally spent with all the walking, frezzing weather and the flu bug from malaysia that forgot to stay home...my whole body went numb & cramped up in the train...immobilizing me for at least 20 minutes...we were shocked as this never happened before...luckily...after the paralysing ordeal...i started to feel back my legs and was able to get out of the train!...we took a cab straight back to the hotel....and the horrible cabbie cheated us...as for the short distance we paid him about the same price we paid for our cab from the airport! i was informed that this was incidences are common...we didn't want to argue...we just went back and rest and hope to recover fast! evening...had to help set-up the meeting room even daddy help out!

fifth day...my meeting day...thankfully was well enough to run the show and everything worked out well! as daddy was exploring the city on his own today...at the evening, he took me back taksim square and to another part of beyoglu...had dinner there...more kebabs!

sixth day...last day in istanbul...visited the underground basilica cistern was built by constantine and enlarged by justinian ~highly recommended by our guide...he was right it was so peaceful inside with the columns and water...then we did the traditional boat tour (about 1 1/2 hours) through the waterway separating asia and europe. along the way we saw the skyline of the mosques, palaces, fortress, the old ottoman wooden mansions, marble places, small fishing villages and some spectacular homes! the boat tour was the cheapest and most relaxing way of seeing the city, for only 5lira each! still have time and energy to do one last visit...we went to the dolmabache palace...as we were running out of money and time...we decided to visit the harem section only as it was cheaper and i was more interested in this area as this is the living quarters of the sultan, the sultan's mother, his 4 wives and children....with only enough cash to bring us back to our hotel by metro...even though the hotel was very near...we didn't dare to take a cab, just in case it had a cranky&jumpy meter!


back to the hotel...change some money..so that we can have a last kebab meal before going home! as we were jet-lag all the way...coz our body clock only works in malaysian time...once we reached home...we wake up everyday as usual at 8!

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

wa, 2nd honeymoon? nice country la.. post some pics pls..

jazzmint said...

wah istanbul!!...mana pics?

Anonymous said...

ya ler..mana pics? wah hubby so nice go with ya..

Anonymous said...

wow wow! So nice! read that "Snow in a desert" e mail,i tot is all tipu one..eh..it's real lei..

Anonymous said...

Such a unique choice of vacation (cum business trip?) Nice pix :)

Angeleyes said...

wah...what an exotic place to go for holiday...