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Saturday, 6 October 2007

On the Streets of Istanbul

I arrived Istanbul on the 27th of June, 2007, one of the hottest days in the hottest summer in more than a hundred years! The temperature was at a ridiculous record of 40 ºC, the first time in my life under the ambient temperature higher than my body temperature.

My friend's fiancé Yakup picked me up at the Ataturk International Airport and sent me to the hotel that I put up, Dongyang Hotel owned by a Korean. My friends who were in Istanbul a month ahead of me helped me to booked this hotel and they managed to negotiate the rate from €30.00 to USD30.00, thanks Siaw Ling! The hotel manager Ayham is a very friendly person whom you can chat your free time away easily.

I was very tired after the 13-hour flight, not to mention the temperature of 40 ºC, so I just roamed around the streets of the hotel on my first day. In fact the hotel is in the heart of the city, so I was actually roaming around the main streets of Istanbul.

The streets of Istanbul are filled with shops selling clothing and accessories.

I simply walked in to a restaurant by the roadside and ordered a set of kebab. It was a very big mistake! Eating the pita bread was like chewing rubber and the meat slices were cold and hard.

I went in to another restaurant for lunch the next day. Another mistake! The food are colourful but the taste is a totally different story. The rice is very oily and the vegetable tastes like leftovers. The moral of the story is, never take the cooked food on display!

The most convenient way to travel around the city is by tram. However, I prefer walking as a substitution for my lacking in exercise at home, so I just walked along the tram line.

There are many building which are slim and painted with interesting colours. I seldom see buildings painted in black.

Not only the buildings, the shops are also very colourful.

Was I back to Malaysia? Languages are very interesting. The same word carries different meanings.

This is the sloping street that I had to pass through to get to Süleymaniye Camii on top of the hill.

A local fast food outlet near Eminönü, the ferry terminal for the Bosphorus cruise.

The local cakes and sweets look so delicious, but unfortunately I need to control my sugar lever. If not, I would have swallowed up tons of these!

I couldn't resist anymore, so I settled for same local pastry which is not sweet on the next day for lunch. On the left is a cheese puff and the one on the right is a puff filled with spinach. They are very nice, especially the flaky crust.

The fruit hawkers at the hub of public transport have very colourful stalls. Some of the displays rival the ones in fancy supermarkets.

If you need to travel to the outskirt of the city, then the Metro is a good option.

The cabin car of the Metro is very clean and cozy.

This is the ghetto area. I was warned by a local passerby that robbery is a very common scene here. He advised me to keep my camera out of sight.

I took very quiet snaps of a celebration going on here.

I think it was an engagement ceremony as I saw a wedding gown on a plate. After taking these shots, I quickly stored my camera inside my camera backpack.


If you would like to read more of my travelogues on Istanbul, here are the links:-

2 comments:

Terri @ hungerhunger said...

istanbul sure is colorful.i think i c baklava. hmmm, don't think i'll like d food.how long were u there for?

CK said...

Hi Terri, I was in Istanbul for a week. Some of the Turkish food are nice, e.g., the freshly made kebabs in pita bread.

OIC! Those brown sweets in diamond shape are Baklava. I didn't know before this. Thanks for mentioning it. :)

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