Turkey has been on my bucket-list for quite sometimes. If you followed me on Instagram (@sakticleaver), you know that it is one of my top priorities on my bucket-list along with Bagan, in Myanmar. To be specific, I wanted to visit Kas, in Antalya, Turkey. This post is an overdue post of my visit back in January. I quit my job in December and wanted to cross off at least one city in my bucket-list. Long story short, I bought the tickets on 31st December 2013 at 11am and flew the same day at 7pm Via Dubai. Arrived at the airport so late, that I barely made the flight.
The 7hrs flight to Dubai was an eventful ones, there were someone trying to smoke and eat durian on board the flight, I knew this because they made announcement regarding the matters mid-flight.
Flight # :EK 347
Equipment : A380-800
AS AWESOME AS A CABIN CREW CAN GET special thanks to (Azalea Ling and Nicholas)
Arriving to Dubai, a little after mid-night, I was provided with a hotel accommodation in Dubai. After spending my New Years Eve in Dubai, I flew to Istanbul the next day, it was another quick 5 hrs hop from DXB to IST, with another eventful flight as someone had a heart attack but the crew responded very well.
Flight # :EK 121
Equipment : B777-300ER
We touched down at 5pm but it was very dark outside. At first I didn’t know that Istanbul will be so cold during winter, so I wasn’t much prepared for my trip, no gloves, only simple coat and scarf.
Arriving at the Istanbul Ataturk International, I went to get my visa on arrival which was a breeze, and the immigration was quick as well. I am staying with my housemate and his mom in Sultanahmet area, they have arrived 2 days prior to me.
I wanted to save money, so I decided to take train from the airport, which only cost 6 Lira for the whole journey. Take a metro from Ataturk Airport to Zeytinburnu, and changed to tram all the way to Camberlitas. It was really confusing for me, especially during the metro to tram changes, I needed to asks around to make sure I was going in the right directions.
Went out with my sister and friends the same night, and I ended up falling asleep while waiting for dinner as the jet-lag was kicking me in my butt.
The Very Famous Turkish Desserts
L To R : Glenn, Feri, Me, Natasha, Kamal
The next day, Feri left for Cappadocia, I stayed in IST to explore the city. Since we stayed in the Old Town it is easy to explore the historical site.
I moved to a new hotel the next day, and guess what, my room was upgraded into a bigger room, equipped with balcony facing the Bosphorus to top that, the breakfast here is UH MAIZING!
First stop is Sultanahmet Park and The Blue Mosque.
The Interior of The Blue Mosque (Prayer Area)
In the afternoon we went stroll around Gulhane Park, and have a tea while watching sunsets from the top of the hill. It was really cold, but the Apple Tea does the trick.
The next day we went to check more historical sites, and decided to join the Bosphorus Cruise for 10 Lira. My advice is, don’t do cruise during winter, Just Don’t!! It was quite an experience, looking both sides of Istanbul.
The next day, I went to explore Taksim Square , and drove around the city.
Last but not least I did the Turkish Bath. Boy, I felt like a KING!
As much as I wanted to explore more of Turkey, it was a last minute trip, and I can’t see much as it was peak season and its quite expensive to travel domestically too. So to satisfy my wanderlust I just wanted to see as much of Istanbul as I could.
I will definitely come back for more!
PS: There are many tourist scams in turkey. But I will save it for another post!!