Glad to share some notes/thoughts on our first ever get away, to the historic, grandeur and lovely Turkey.
Much as this is our first ever trip together outside Philippines and Dubai, we promised to make the best out of it and to make this a lifetime memory.
I was excited more than him, as he has traveled from other places due to work, but for me this is the first. We arrived at the airport as early as 4 hours before the scheduled flight and make it even 5 hours and more as the flight is delayed for an hour. Stayed in the Airport from 12MN till 4 am, until the gate opened for boarding, and kaboom! Turkey here we come!!!
Turkey is far different from the place that we are staying now, but a lot like our native land. Trees, plazas, warm people, houses built on mountains, mountains, old but architecturally designed building establishments and well preserved culture – a much needed breather for us.
Upon arrival at the Atatourk Airport in Istanbul, we were met by our tour guide, Mr. Hanife. From the airport, we went to our first activity, the panoramic city tour. We are always at awe every time we passed by a very old landmark, mosques (which they have a lot) and greener places, extremely different from Dubai. Haven’t seen much of a sky rocket building, instead old and preserved one. We were led to the different tourist attractions in Istanbul which is according to our guide, is inhabited by more or less 16MM people, just the city itself. After an hour of sight seeing, we were directed to our hotel, ****Feronya Hotel, where we were greeted by the men receptionist, no female receptionist in our hotel. Needless to say, its freezing cold in Istanbul. You cant go out without putting jacket, scarf, gloves and bonnet, one heaven of an experience for us. We rested for two hours (as we cant waste any time and miss out some beautiful places to discover in Istanbul) and get ready for our own trip. Had our lunch at the hotel, food was mouth-watering, tasty and PRICE? Reasonable enough for its taste! So, we had our first lunch in our hotel. Then off we go to the famous TAKSIM Square.
Everybody’s in the move in Taksim. Shops, boutiques, even side walk vendors with chestnuts and other food to munch were filled with people. We even witnessed a rally(which means, lots of policemen in the streets, which scared me so much) while we were in the boulevard of Taksim Square.
Actually, on that very day, I remember how Cebuanos are during the feast day of our Patron Saint, Sr. Sto. Nino, when we celebrate Sinulug. The avenue is filled with people, young generations with their group of friends, shouting, playing and just hanging in the street. You can also find musician in there, playing violin, flute and guitar. Walked through the street, entered almost all boutiques, bargaining as much as I can, as am good at doing that and ended up at Starbucks to warm the night. Found our way to some shops for souvenirs and ended up buying something. Camera’s flushing every second, people smiling. We are just lovin every second that we are there and the thought of being away from the busy, unreal and unauthentic life and embracing the warmth of the coolness of the Istanbul air. After being in the street for almost six hours, we called it a day and prepared ourselves for the next day’s adventure – Bosphorus Tour and more unearthing of the extraordinary Turkey!