With a new year I start a new journey..Turkey! That does not mean that The Greek posts are over...believe me there are more adventure stories that you can imagine! Turkey is not a country that we 'explored' properly as per our standards. But if we consider standard Indian holiday packages then we traveled more. Usually the packages of Greece and Turkey which the prominent travel agents offer consist of 6 days in Greece and three days in Turkey.
|The Picturesque Blue Mosque|
Well our vacation was more than that..And the points which we covered in Istanbul were more than those included in usual itineraries. Still we are not satisfied as we had spent a lot of money on visa and air tickets. It would have been saner to visit another Shengen country than to spend extra bucks on separate visa. Well what has been done is irreversible.
There are soooo many countries on my bucket list and I want to strike them all off my list. So instead of fretting why did not spend some more days in Turkey, I decided to make the most of our trip. It was entirely my decision to include this place and husband was not too happy with it. He had been in love with Istanbul right from the day I know him and he wanted to dedicate a separate vacation for this mystical country. But as we all know, we Indians cannot travel like others. I mean we can't leave our jobs and leave our country with a one way ticket. We have really limited leaves (believe me there is a huge struggle involved in getting leaves granted in medical profession) and we have our home and family to return to. In our case, our daughter :D I am sure when she grows up she would hate us for not taking her with us. :D
After a really long journey (ferry from Santorini to Athens, journey from Pireaus port to Athens airport then flight from Athens to Istanbul..) we were really tired. The apartment which we booked was in Sultanahmet (city center) and hence far from the airport. So it was again one hell of a struggle to reach there.
|Beautiful streets and buildings...|
Since we were so short of time, we took a fast shower and left for the nearest spots of the city. Istanbul is really, really beautiful. The houses have flowering plants hanging from the windows and every light post has flowers hanging from them. If this is the scene in midst of summer, I wonder how beautiful its during spring!
|Flowers flowers everywhere!|
Our first stop was Kuchuk Hagia Sophia or the Little Hagia Sophia. The typical architecture of the Blue Mosque that fascinates travellers like us is omnipresent in Istanbul. I mean all the Turkish mosques are of that shape. So it was like I got fascinated at the sight of every mosque. The architecture is hands down impeccable.
|At the entry of Kuchuk Hagia Sophia|
After Kuchuk Hagia Sophia we went to The Blue Mosque and I was in awe. The atmosphere was very festive with the holiday of Bairam in full swing. 'Id' in India is equivalent to their Bairam. It marked the conclusion of the month long Ramadan.
|One of the many beautiful ceilings of the Blue Mosque|
|Does not my outfit match with the background?|
|The huge campus of the Blue Mosque or Sultanahmat Mosque|
|Notice the beautiful lamps...|
One thing that surprised us in Greece was the honesty of people. There was no case of theft; anything left by mistake would be lying there as such even after hours. Before arriving in Istanbul we were constantly being reminded to take care of our belongings. Being Indians, it was not surprising. However we got a surprise real soon. It was really sunny and I was carrying an umbrella. While taking a picture outside the Blue Mosque, I folded the umbrella and kept it aside. As I finished taking the picture, I could not find my umbrella. I saw a man (with a family) had opened it and was walking away. I was shocked. I ran after him and got my umbrella back.
Welcome to Turkey officially :D
|This is the place where my umbrella was lost and found:D If you like my travel posts, follow my blog on Bloglovin|