So I have been not writing for a while now.But I couldn't resist writing about this beautiful place.Istanbul where literally the world history meets, was a great experience; one worth cherishing the whole life.
Istanbul a city filled with culture and heritage inspires you to bring in the artist within you to life.I was lucky to get an opportunity to visit this famous city(famously known as Constantinople in the past).I was there for five days and I wished I had more.I really wished.
I had booked the ticket with Emirates which is considered to be one of the best airlines in the world (Well initially it lived up to its reputation: You will come to know how) I was happy to get upgraded to business class for my flight to Dubai. Unfortunately the trend dint continue and I was in the economy on the onward flight.The transit process at Dubai was very smooth though.I had a layover time of only 2 hours while going which is very comfortable.
I landed after sunset in Istanbul. a mesmerizing view of this great city was worth it.I caught a cab to the hotel which was in the heart of the heritage city,Sultan Ahmed area.I checked in received my Istanbul tourist pass, the museum pass and Istanbul-kart(city travel card) and the wifi device.the service of the tourist pass is awesome .It lets you travel the city and get hassle free entry to most of its attractions by saving a lot of money.So I relaxed walked through the streets, took a stroll by the sea and planned my schedule for the days in Istanbul.
My main purpose was to attend a conference on Management and Policy,but I had a couple of days before it started. So the next day, I started with my visits to the museums. started with the Sultan Ahmed mosque also known as the blue mosque which is also known as the blue mosque for its blue interiors. The huge structures are appealing to the eyes.This mosque was constructed in 16th century and lies right opposite to a 6th century wonder called Haiga Sofia.
The next day started with a visit to Madame Trussades wax museum located near Takshim square,which in itself is a historic place. Many revolutions and public processions have marked this venue in the past. Its a place where people gather in huge numbers for celebrations festivals and national events.The museum boasts of some exquisite wax models of some of the finest celebrities of the world across the field of entertainment, sports ,science, history and politics. A nice place to take selfie with near replica of your favorite celeb. Then I went by bus to the naval museum located at Besiktas. On the way you cross the famous Besiktas stadium,home to one of the best football clubs in Turkey. The naval museum boats of naval relics dating back to thousand of years.It is definitely worth a watch.From the port besides the museum I hopped on to the hop-on hop-off boat tour of the Bosphorous strait. Its a very important strait connecting the black sear to the sea of Marmaray and a very busy channel for sea trade.The boat trip included 5 stops including a couple on Asia side. The whole journey lasted for about two hours. The European side was prominently predominated by commercial properties and yachts lining the sea shore whereas the Asian side consisted of beautiful homes with their private waterfronts.I wish to have such a wonderful house. i just got mesmerized by the scenic beauty and relished it till the boat reached the port of Kabatas after which I took a tram on the blue line to go to Gulhane station which was the stop where I alighted to go to the world famous Whirling dervish dance show.It was a great performance in which the story of human being is depicted through dance.Inspired by the works of the famous poet Rumi the show is not worth missing. After that I had local dal chorba(lentil soup) and Turkish rice and went to my hotel to rest.
Istanbul was seeping in and I was already in love with the city.I had a conference to attend the next day.
The next day after attending the conference I went to Rumeli Hisar which is a fort in ruins. The fort is situated at a very strategic location where the Bosphorous strait is the narrowest. With panoramic views spanning almost from the mouth of the Black sea to the sea of Marmaray the Hisar sets for a beautiful backdrop. The cannons and huge minarets adorn the fort.I found myself in traffic while returning by bus as it was a weekend and people were moving out for enjoying themselves across the shores of the strait. I reached in the palatial hotel and got freshened up to go for the Bosphorous dinner cruise, but to my surprise the driver failed to pick me up.There were serious communication lapse between the cruise operating agency and the hotel staff. The operator made it up by offering me the tour on the subsequent day,which I had luckily kept free . To relax myself I went to the pavilion between the two great structures, the blue mosque and Haiga Sofia. The dancing colorful fountains just spread a serene sense of calmness.
The following day after the conference I visited the famous Egyptian spice market. The fragrance of the spices was mesmerizing.After moving around the market I went back to the hotel where luckily this time the driver came to pick me up for the dinner cruise. It was a nice cruise in the Bosphorous where beautifully lit structures were seen. we were treated with a nice 3 course meal including starters, mains and Bakhlawa dessert(famous Turkish dessert). I met an India settled in Canada , who was a good company. We enjoyed different events including belly dance. The cruise ended post midnight after which we were dropped at our hotels.
As the last day arrived I had already started missing the place. Incidentally I had the Big bus tour remaining. The big bus operates 2 tours through the historic city . These tours are guided hop on hop off tours. I got to relive my moments spent in the city through these tours.Finally my time had arrived to leave the city. With a mixed bag of emotions I board my pick up vehicle and which drops me to the airport where my tedious return journey begins. i have a long 8 hr stopover at Dubai......
I really enjoyed the trip to this beautiful,scenic and safe city for visitors.
I would love to consult people planning to visit the city.
Kindly mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.