Looking back, I remember once I was also a tourist in Turkey. Just as I have fallen in love with a very wonderful, thoughtful, caring and loving man, I have also fallen deeply addicted and in love with the city where he lives. And now, I consider this place my home, which I always have to come back and explore. I want to share its beauty even in chaotic times. Its treasure never has been exploited or abandoned because its beauty is majestic, historical and endless.
Upon thinking about Turkey, all the thoughts come pouring at the same time and I have to start from something. At least one place at a time and Istanbul was the first city I set foot in Turkey so let’s start with it. It was 8 years ago but still is fresh as like the first time. I would just give a brief summary of those we went to not bore you with so much drama.
- Topkapi Palace. Home to Sultans at the Ottoman period, the palace contains several courtyard, and smaller buildings. The palace museum showcases several porcelain collections, armoury, Islamic manuscripts and jewelries.
- Hagia Sophia. The only structure which was built as a Christian Church turned to a Mosque and finally converted to a museum. The building displays a collection of holy relics removed when it was converted toa mosque. On the walls and ceiling, you would find painted images of the Holy trinity, saints and angel. These images were plastered during its conversion to mosque.
- Basilica Cistern. The cistern was built to provide water infiltration system supplying water to Topkapi palace. Medusa was curved on the stone and used as the base of the column.
- Blue mosque. Popular because of its 6 minarets and eight secondary domes excluding the main dome. The mosque was painted in blue where its name was derived. Tourists are allowed to visit inside the mosque as long as they remove the shoes and ladies cover the hair.
- Grand Bazaar. Named as one of the oldest and largest covered market, several shops sell souvenirs, jewelries, fabrics and almost anything you can think of.
- Galata Tower. Going to Galata tower, we passed through Taksim, a very luxurious boulevard of coffee shops, restaurants, boutiques and several street foods. Hidden at the back of Taksim is Galata tower, which controls the entrance to the Golden horn, The cylindrical tower has a restaurant and a café on its upper floor where you can view Istanbul and Bosphorus.
- Istanbul Archeology Museum. A collection of historical artifacts can be found in this museum. Sculptures, jewelries, armouries and books are some of what is showcased.
- Nightlife in Turkey is also one thing you shouldn’t miss. Some bars are family friendly, where you can bring your kids, listen and dance to the music and drink their national beverage called raki. Our engagement was announced with a ceremony where a wonderful couple wore our engagement rings to us.
- One of the most famous tourist activities in Turkey is cruise trip in Bosphorous. The tour would highlight Istanbul’s great view of its palaces, mosque and city. As for me, I didn’t only cruise Bosphorus with a boat, but also held our 2nd wedding celebration in Lufer 6, A gift from my thoughtful mother-in-law.
Don’t forget to try Turkish style street foods like barbeque chestnut, ice cream and sweet corn. In Taksim, you can find Beyoglu chocolates which my husband referred as the best chocolate in Turkey.