Friday, September 28, 2012

Istanbul through my eyes (Part 2)♥♥

I haven't been to many places abroad so obviously right now am incapable of rating one over the other. Hopefully as years progress i would be able to do so...

Topography - The Bosporus and the Golden Horn sea divides Istanbul into 2 parts. The Asian and European side. The Bosporus bridge was erected to connect these two ends. Asian side inhabits laymen and hence high in population. Istanbul projects a half Asian, half European identity and the same is reflected in their cultures.

Most residents are ignorant to English (incl the cops), so communication becomes a problem. I often found myself speaking through gestures and a few words i learned in Turkish. But sellers do make every effort to communicate.

Istanbul in a glance (in order of my favorites)
Topkapi Palace
Mehmet II built Topkapi as his main residence. It has several pavilions to it rather than one single structure. This is now a museum show casing Armour and weapons of soldiers, clock collection belonging to Sultans (loved every piece), personal belongings of the Prophets (The best moment), jewelery and household items of sultans (exquisite jewelery made of Gold, Emerald, Ruby and pearls)

Haghia Sophia
The building was listed among the 7 wonders of the ancient world.  It is more than 1500 years old. It was constructed as a church and was later converted into a mosque by the Ottoman. Now a museum. The building houses religious symbols of Christians and Muslims.

Bosporus Cruise

To pay due justice, am going to think twice before i describe this trip. Natural beauty at its best. Laying back on the comfy seats situated on the open deck, you get to enjoy the landscape and vintage styled houses on either sides of Bosporus sea, accompanied by chill breeze and hot apple tea served......mmm lovely

Suleymaniye Mosque
Largest mosque in Istanbul, known for its architecture and magnificent interiors. One of its Minars has Diamonds mixed with cement. Of course nobody knows which of the four.
Princess Islands
The islands are a short ferry away from the main grounds of Istanbul. It takes you away from the hassle of the city. There are 9 islands all collectively termed as Princess islands. We visited the Buyukada, largest of them all. Home to nearly 5000 people to max. Horse carriages are a common means of transport here. We took a leisure ride on horse carriage's and explored the island on bicycles...loved it
Blue Mosque
Known for its interiors, designed with Blue Iznik tiles and hence the name. Its the only mosque with 6 Minars. The mosque stands out at night when floodlit.
Taksim Square
Tour to Taksim square was not included in our itinerary, but we were ever willing to try out the Tramway. An apt street to shop for high end goods. The streets are lined with Restaurants, cafe's and Bars. We took a break at one of the cafe's and enjoyed the bustle from the rooftop sipping Karpaz Suye and Portakal Suye (Lemon and Orange Juice) hahah........
Spice and Grand Bazaar
Last but not the least, Spice Bazaar takes you through an alley of small shops selling varied spices, dried fruits and Turkish Delights (Lokum). The bazaar is usually found packed with tourists and locals walking almost over each other. One can shop Souvenirs at reasonable price here. A very colorful place.

Ooppsy...just realized how long this blog turned out to be!!! am gonna wind up here and publish the closure as a 3rd part. I don't want readers sleeping over their laptops.....hope you like the post...xoxo.......

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