Istanbul Experience: Taken 2 Site But It is Only My Breath that was Taken Away!
17 October 2012
I just had my first European travel and I am so pleased to share that the city Ive visited is Istanbul; the only city built on two continents- Europe and Asia. I am happy to share too that I was able to visit two other places- Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Let me share with you a blow by blow experience that I had. A mindblowing trip should I say, aside from the fact that Ive spend 2500USD for shopping! On my day 1 in Istanbul,after an almost 24 hour travel, I ate at Borsha restaurant which is very near our hotel-- the Turkish food is really great, and I am fortunate to have a table with the Bosphorus sea view- a very relaxing experience, a shangri-la; a paradise should I say. The waiters find me entertaining as I finish the servings of food that is fit for 3 people! Of course, I ate with a bottle of their local beer- EFES. During dinnertime, I am fortunate to see a free cultural show with a dancing couple which look like 2 sponge bob square pants dancing. Apparently the square faces are not actually faces or cloth costumes but tummies of the men with drawn faces! Imagine your tummy drawn with big face! :) So it is good that they've chosen skinny guys to perform, i think it will be very difficult for a vuluptuous man to be jumping and dancing with shaky cheekbones (with the round tummy!)
Day 2- I was able to visit the Grand Bazaar!!!! A big bazaar indeed with a lot of tourists and again good food. After shopping, I went to a local restaurant and the waiter kept on calling me the "first lady" and when I asked for the bill, he told me, Madam First--Lady Gaga... He was so funny! And so I called him Enrique Iglesias when I handed him my payment as he looks like Enrique Iglesias :)
Day 3 is shopping day in Istiklal street with merchants selling ice cream with some ice cream show. Im no longer a kid but I enjoyed his show! He really made it hard for me to get my ice cream cone. I call their ice cream, the marshmallow ice cream as it is hard and really taste like marshmallows. Dinner time is belly dancing time! I saw a cultural show while eating my turkish dinner and there was this part that the dancers brought me up in the stage and let me dance before the Sultana and so I belly danced and shown them how my belly move like a jelly! Haha. And so I won among the 4 women who were also chosen. A proud Filipina at that making Philippines and myself proud. Day 4- i went to mass and have my tears rolling as the priest talked about faith and family. I celebrated it in the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit just walking distance away from my hotel. After that, I went for city tour with only stopping at Sultanahmet area or Blue Mosque- as seen in the photo above with 6 minarets. It was a Sunday and really a sunny day so I only did one stop and sleeping during the city bus tour. Too bad I wasnt able to maximise my 20 Euros but it was still fun. Day 5- was again shopping, but this time in Nisantasi area- where the luxurious shops and the rich reside. This is the first time I saw luxurious brands come alive with real live stores! My eyes were drooling but again, Im not rich and so I just did my walking tour. The most fun part was seeing the GODIVA, Belgian chocolate restaurant. Oh, how I drooled and ordered a platter of 6 pc chocolate and finished everything in one seating! This is chocolate heaven! Day 7- I went to see Istanbul Aquarium! The biggest aquarium I saw in my lifetime! Of course I was touring alone with lots of school kids shouting for excitement! I wish I can shout too, but of course, I am too old for that. I have seen the different parts of the "global waters" in my tour and saw sharks lurking towards at me. Good that there is a thick glass dividing us. I went to see the mall to eat lunch and again had a terrific time eating out by the seaside with the view of the yachts and the planes departing the city.
All I can say is that my Istanbul experience was a blast. But of course, my enjoyable saga went on until I went to Abu Dhabi and Dubai to spend my 28th birthday with my best friends. God is good. Happiness is always in my midst. I am forever grateful.