Yeah it’s been a few months but I’m still squeezing some time posting. Missed all the beautiful things way back before the epidemic.
I can’t think of another city in the world like İstanbul. Important location with abundant history. Rather low price levels. Cute and kind people.
If you’ve ever googled “10 must see in İstanbul” you’ll get about seven times the amount you wished. However, if you’re not a real history or architecture fan, just go through the repeated mentioned ones will be enough. Also goods sold in bazaars are mostly the same, so visit them in your own priority order may be a wise choice.
Don’t know whether it’s because of the dead season, some sites in the old town area are partially under construction in February, including Sultanahmet (Blue Mosque), Hagia Sophia, Topkapı palace, Yeni Camii. Still it’s open to visitors though. It’s just the sense of incomplete that bothers.
Somewhat contradicting to see both Christian and Islamic style in the same architecture – Hagia Sophia.
I pretty like mosques. The architectures are so big and with beautiful arabic calligraphy and chandelier inside. No portraits makes everything a bit more mysterious. Such a pity Sultanahmet is partially under maintenance. Still magnificent a building on the outside anyway.
Be prepared to spend more time in Topkapı palace if you like to take photos. The delicate tiles with beautiful patterns amazed me the most. Also appreciate the Bosphorus and Marmara sea view in the innest corner.
Süleymaniye mosque is also one of the most magnificent ones, yet not so famous as Sultanahmet or Hagia Sophia. Some volunteers are there to introduce Islamic cultures to visitors, and we had a great time having short conversations and enjoyed tea and baklava with them.
And then is the Dolmabaçhe palace. It takes about three hours with the audio guide to walk through all the rooms.
Actually there is just too many to see in this incredible city, so as a starter, we take the Bosphorus cruise for some general views, and had the exaggerating Turkish breakfast which is densely located in Beşiktaş.
A worth-mentioning incident during my trip
Leaving for İstanbul is the very time when coronavirus ‘news’ (not the virus itself yet) started to spread out in Turkey. Before that I always feel the warmth and welcoming Turkish people, but since that day everyone started to look at me in a strange way. Some passed by with their hands covering their nose, some just made an awkward U-turn.
(I’m not blaming Turkish people though because most of the time even we ourselves can’t tell upon Asian faces lol.) So here’s the sign:
Out of surprise I got lots of positive feedbacks. Most of them just told their friends what they’ve seen secretly (but apparently, still enough for me to aware). Others laugh out loud on the street and asked me for photos.
Most Turkish people showed their optimistic to the world. They are happy. They laugh often. I’m also amused with their reactions. Also they really help visitors a lot (especially after seeing my sign, though getting special treats isn’t what I originally expected).
All in all I’m so glad to have everyone, everything in the right place during this trip. At the airport I miss their wonderful Tavuk şiş (chicken kebab) and Künefe and Baklava (sweeet snacks) already.
Before this trip I spent a few hours to familiarize their language system. I also like the way they reacted when I speak little Turkish (surprised and then speak a long sentence by Turkish which is beyond my understanding).
Now I sincerely hope they still hold their optimism. We’ll come through eventually.
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