Istanbul Again

Hi there, I’m talking to you from Istanbul, again…

This time, I’m staying in the Sultanahmet area, so I did not take the Havatas bus. Instead, I went local and took the metro instead. From Ataturk airport to Zeytinburnuu, and then switch to tram to Sultanahmet, and then a short walk to my hotel. Maybe I will share with you the wonders of the Istanbulkart some time in the future.

I was tired and in need of shower/sleep, so even though I was wowed by the Blue Mosque’s sight in the evening, I did not stop here and go trigger crazy with the camera. That’s all business for tomorrow. Here’s a not so clear picture for you, taken with the phone through shaky hands.

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Sultan Ahmed Mosque (Blue Mosque)

Maybe I’ll show you my dinner too…

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Iskender Kebap – Kebap, tomato sauce and yogurt

I’ll call it a day today without exploring anything, because tomorrow is expected to be a fully packed day.

The planned itinerary for tomorrow: Topkapi Palace, Aya Sofya (Hagia Sophia), Blue Mosque, Basilica Cistern, Grand Bazaar and Spice Bazaar.

I’m not sure if I will even pay any entrance fee for Topkapi and Aya Sofya. I heard we are not allowed to take pictures upon entrance. I don’t like that. If they want to charge usΒ moneyΒ then we should be allowed to take photos in exchange, otherwise in my dictionary it is called “blatant daylight robbery”. I suppose we’ll see tomorrow, if what I heard proves to be true then I will probably just take photos from the outside and save the liras for shopping instead.

I really hope I can cover all those place tomorrow. The day after tomorrow, I have no definitive plans yet, but there are a couple of possibilities:

  1. Head back to Beyoglu to visit Dolmabache Palace because I did not get to enter last week.
  2. Take the Marmaray undersea train across the Bosphorus into Anatolia (Asian side of Istanbul) and visit Sukru Saracoglu Stadium, Fenerbahce’s home ground.

Route 1 has the same concerns of paying but no photos. Route 2 allows me to see the Bosphorus from a different angle as most travelers rarely venture to this side of Istanbul (and to fulfill my wish to draw graffiti on Robin van Persie’s poster). I will most likely go Route 2, provided I can cover my plans tomorrow perfectly. We’ll see…

I’m off to bed now… It’s almost 11 PM as I hit Publish…

26 Comments

  1. It sounds like a tiring trip in some places. But I’m sure all the sights are keeping you going and you barely feel it that you are tired. Wish I could be traveling right now. Instead, I’m stuck with work, which is my problem πŸ™„

    • Actually there were days where I felt really tired. And bored. But I had to soldier on in case I miss out on unexpected findings. I guess that’s the whole point of solo traveling, just gotta make the best out of what you see..

    • 1997, so long ago! Although I guess in terms of sightseeing, still pretty much the same. πŸ™„

  2. Yessss Iskender Kebab!! I loved those! I didn’t discover those in Istanbul, but rather in Izmir (I think that’s the region this style came from) and I loved it a lot more than the dry kebabs. I especially love how they come around with a pan of bubbling butter and generally pour it all over the top!

    • Well, I went to a random kebab joint just in front of my hotel, so it is super touristy. Probably that’s why there was no pan of butter being poured on mine. Darn!!

  3. Nowadays we can travel light n easy instead of following tours.. You are one of them and brave one too, traveling to Istanbul and making your own itinerary… You must have done your homework very well… Thumbs up!

    • I only have a general idea on what I want to cover. The actual homework, I wake up at 5 AM to do, then head out to try to fulfill it in the same day. That’s how “well” I do my homework hahaha!

  4. I am looking forward to your real posting later on Istanbul which has the most awesome architecture buildings. I know you are saving the best for the last.

    Iskender Kebap is nice and suits my taste. I forgot where I ate a similar Turkish dish in KL.

    Now I guess your lights in the photos show the long flash because your camera’s lense need a real cleaning up. Even a tissue wipe might not remove the slight greasy layer. Wipe harder and blow your hot gas from your mouth for added strengths.

    • Those flash lines are because I took it using my phone, and the phone’s sensor is lousier compared to camera sensor I think. Been like this since Day One.. πŸ™„

      Aiya, eating Turkish dish in KL not same one la… you have to come here and eat it here baru syok! If eating in KL is the same, nobody will travel anymore…

      I’m actually not an architecture geek. So I might disappoint you with the lack of details in my photos…

    • Hahaha actually I’m kind of glad in one sense that, my money is running out soon. About time to end it…

  5. Glad to hear that you’re now safe in Istanbul. Don’t worry, the picture looks good as it is. ^_^ At least there will be a photographic evidence to remind you of your vacation there. πŸ˜‰ I, for one, didn’t even take a single picture of Fremantle when I was there, lol.

    Yup, now you’re talking; better to save the liras for some souvenir shopping – for either yourself, friends or family. πŸ™‚

    • Oh, no worries about the pictures. There will be A LOT of pictures after I rest my tired body for a night! πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

      I don’t know. I have not decided. Actually I was planning on shopping for jeans for myself. Souvenirs… last thing on my mind…

  6. oh, back to Istanbul again and it marks the holiday coming to an end?? ooopsss sorry to remind you that.. anyway, I would love to see as much as possible of a place I go, whether or not paying an exorbitant entrance fees to see in more details, that has to depend..

    • Yeah, plain yogurt. I think you don’t like it one. If you come here you have to get doner, and request no veggie, I think. πŸ™„

  7. Good to hear that you have arrived safely in Istanbul. Wow! You are so smart to navigate their metro system to go to your hotel. Were there English instructions on how to buy the tickets in the metro station? Enjoy yourself and stay safe!

    • It’s not that hard actually, making one transit only and the connecting station is just right next to each other, in open air and you can see it. I used Istanbulkart (sort of like Touch n Go and give big discount per ride), the machine selling it has English instructions. πŸ™‚

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