Wednesday, 29 June 2016

[Travel] Wonderful Trip to Turkey with Spring Tulip 2016, Day 11


We safely arrive at Hamad International Airport Doha, Qatar on 21:35 pm (Qatar's Time). Mr. Zues is straight checking our Gate No. for next flight from Hamad International Airport Doha, Qatar to Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), since we just transit a few hours at Doha, Qatar. 

After everything is done, we straight walk to the transit line, which is we have to thru the body checking before we are free for our own activities. It's quite surprising when I arrive at the body checking counter. The line is too short, maybe its night flight is not many and just our plane landing on that time so it's taken short time only. So we have almost 5 hours before next our flight on 02:50 am (Qatar's Time). 

Nothing much can I do at Hamad International Airport Doha, Qatar because I feel so tired, sleepy, and I also don't have the mood to shopping. Just walk around before waiting and take a nap during waiting duration. 

The duration journey from Hamad International Airport Doha, Qatar to Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Malaysia is around 7 hours 25 minutes. This plane is quite big too. The seating arrangement is 2 – 4 – 2. Our flight no. is QR0846 (DOH/KUL). We also got the arrival blue cover of Qatar Airways boarding pass. 

The things from Qatar Airways that we're got on the plane are refreshment towel, pillow, blanket, small bag, and earphones for entertainment. The special about inside the small bag are eyes mask, teeth brush, stocking, and earmuffs. It's same like our flight from Kuala Lumpur to Doha on the first day my vacation.

Even though, I seating at economy class areas but it's so comfortable and nice too. The seating space on the plane is also just nice. Their cabin crews are nice and friendly to me. If not a mistake, our plane is having cabin crew from Malaysia Airlines because the one of the cabin crew is speaking Malay with my sister and me when he serves us.

This time does not have menu catalog but since its night flight, we got 2 times meals, which are the first is snack then after following hour's main menu. The meals on the plane I choose from Doha, Qatar to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia are chicken sausage and potato like before too. Everything flight with Qatar Airways is the BEST. I miss these moments so much.

We safely arrive at Kuala Lumpur International Airport on 30 April 2016 (Saturday), around 15:15 pm. That mean our vacation at Turkey is already the end, 11 days 8 nights with wonderful memories. Now my dad non-stop talks about this trip, he loves so much. I'm happy when all is happy too.

Before I forget the postcard of my sister and I am arriving after 1 month at our home. They just use air mail, which is not having the stamp on our postcards. At first, I thought I can see the Turkey stamp but I don't know they use air mail to send our postcard. It's okay since we already got our postcard. 

Here, the link to the continue stories about Wonderful Trip to Turkey with Spring Tulip 2016 – Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, Day 6, Day 7, Day 8, Day 9, and Day 10.

Monday, 27 June 2016

[Travel] Wonderful Trip to Turkey with Spring Tulip 2016, Day 10


Day 10 is my last day in Istanbul, Turkey. I was feeling sad to say goodbye to Turkey. I miss this vacation so much; even my parents too have the same feeling with me.

Sorry, this photo turn like this.

This is the pure honey with bread.

We enjoy our last breakfast at the hotel before start our last tour. This time, I get the chance to taste the pure honey at Istanbul, Turkey. It's special and delicious. 

On last day at Istanbul, Turkey does not have too many activities. Just we have to enjoy a sublime Bosphorus Private Cruise. A Bosphorus Private Cruise on the 32 km (20 miles) – long strait which joins the Sea of Marmara to the south with the Black Sea to the north of Istanbul. 

This Bosphorus Private Cruise is taken around 30 minutes sightseeing tour along the river Bosphorus. I can see the both side of Istanbul, which are Europe side and Asia side along the river Bosphorus. The view is so beautiful. We also received the snacks and drinks on the cruise. It's the best.

Sorry, this photo turn like this.

Sorry, this photo turn like this.

Sorry, this photo turn like this.
Then, we take early lunch at Citadel Hotel Restaurant Istanbul. Our last lunch at Turkey is western style meals, which is chicken chop and its set menu too. It starts with soup and bread, salad, some like an egg (but I forget what its name is), chicken chop and lastly deserts of chocolate pudding. 

After lunch, we straight go to Sabiha Gokcen International Airport (SAW) for going back home. Ms. Gulhan says normally traffic jam from Istanbul city to airport. It's true. Actually, the journey from city to airport is not far but it's because of the traffic jam, it's taken around 1 hour.

We arrive early at the airport. Then, we steal our group check-in luggage at Qatar Airways counters and received our boarding pass. Before I go into the waiting room, I run to post office at the airport for post the postcard. My sister and I just play to post our postcard to our home. The cost is TLR 6.40, around RM 9.60. This is the second time we play to post the postcard to our home at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – after our holiday at Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam on early in this year. Maybe we will continue to do this in future because it's so fun for making our souvenir. 

For your information Istanbul, Turkey have two airports, which are Sabiha Gokcen International Airport (SAW) and Ataturk International Airport (IST) so just be careful before going to airport – double check your flight detail. Our flight from Istanbul, Turkey to Doha, Qatar is on 17:25 pm. This flight journey is taken 4 hours 10 minutes. Sabiha Gokcen International Airport (SAW) is quite small to me. It's same like Haneda International Airport when I went to Tokyo, Japan.

Sorry, this photo turn like this. This is my meal on the plane, chicken with rice.
This plane is small like our flight from Doha, Qatar to Ankara, Turkey. The seating arrangement is 3 – 3. The things from Qatar Airways that we're got on the plane are refreshment towel, pillow, blanket, and earphones for entertainment. It's okay because our duration is just 4 hours from Sabiha Gokcen International Airport, Istanbul, Turkey to Hamad International Airport Doha, Qatar. We're the flight on 17:25 pm (Turkey's Time). Our flight no is QR0244.

This is view of Doha, Qatar city.
Back to my first-time experience vacation at Turkey, for our meals along this vacation – they only serve us the plain waters only. They not like us in Malaysia that has air sirap and more. They are very good to care their own healthy. Then, most of our hotel is good but just about plain water to drink in the room is limited. Kindly, buy extra the plain water at the convenience store. They do not recommend drinking water by resources from bathroom pipe in the room. So it is better if you just buy the plain water at the convenience store. It is not too expensive too. The last tips, when you take the vacation at Turkey like me which are traveling a lot of places around Turkey – just buy the souvenirs that you like it because every place has different kinds of souvenirs. Not have to wait until you reach at Istanbul to buy it. I'm sure you will regret it. The most my favorite souvenirs is Turkish Delight. It's so delicious.  

Here, the link to the continue stories about Wonderful Trip to Turkey with Spring Tulip 2016 – Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, Day 6, Day 7, Day 8, Day 9, and Day 11.

Saturday, 25 June 2016

[Travel] Wonderful Trip to Turkey with Spring Tulip 2016, Day 9


Merhaba Istanbul… Hello, Istanbul.

Sorry, this photo turn like this.
I know Istanbul the most famous city if Turkey because people around the world know Istanbul rather than another city. Am I right? But Istanbul not the capital of Turkey, the capital of Turkey is Ankara. The Istanbul is the first place of most population citizen in Turkey. 

On Day 9, I visit many places around Istanbul. I like Istanbul so much. The first place I was visited is the Topkapi Palace. The Topkapi Palace or Topkapi Sarayi is the residence of Ottoman Sultans for almost for centuries and Istanbul's premier must-see attraction. Its large compound consists of pavilions, kitchens, audience chambers and kiosks built around a series of garden courtyards.

The palace was opened to the public as a museum in 1924 by the order of Ataturk. There are many sections in the Topkapi Palace which can be visited today, these are exhibition halls and doesn't contain any furniture. Some of the exhibition halls are closed for restorations but still the visit of the palace would take a half day for an interested person. Please note that in some of the exhibition halls you're not permitted to take any photographs, such as Treasury, Sultans' costumes, and the Holly Relics.

Once you pass the first gate, Imperial Gate, you'll be in the first courtyard called as the "Courtyard of the Regiments". From this gate, anybody could pass but only the Sultans would be on the horse while all others on foot. The second gate has two guard towers and is called "Gate of Salutation" because everybody had to salute the Sultan before going through. From this gate, only the Sultan and people working in the palace could pass, it wasn't for the public access. Today, passing through this gate there will be a security check and ticket control, and you access to the second courtyard of the palace (courtyard of the Divan). 

The third gate is called "Gate of Felicity" because the Sultan and his court celebrated important events here; sitting on his throne; when the Sultans were happy everybody was happy. This gate was protected by the white eunuchs and nobody could pass through without the permission of the Sultan. When you enter the third courtyard (courtyard of the Underrun), the first building is the Audience Hall where the Sultan received his viziers or foreign ambassadors. Behind this room, there is a library as well. 

On the left of the third courtyard, there is the Holly Relics section where religiously important items are displayed, such as the mantle, footprint, a tooth and hair of the Prophet Mohammed, swords of the first caliphs, container of the Black Stone from Ka'ba, and so on. Next to this hall, there are several other rooms with the paintings of the Sultans, miniatures, old clocks etc.

After the third courtyard, there are several passages to the fourth and last courtyard of the palace, the private garden of the Sultan (Sofa0i Humayun in Arabic) where he had roses and tulips and some kiosks from which he had a great view of the city while drinking his tea or coffee. 

Sorry, this photo turn like this. This is the entrance ticket of Hagia Sophia. 
Then, we visit the Hagia Sophia or Aya Sofya, one of Old Istanbul's most imposing sights. Hagia Sophia is a great architectural beauty and an important monument both for Byzantine and for Ottoman Empires. Once a church, later a mosque, and now a museum at the Turkish Republic, Hagia Sophia has always been the precious of its time.

It has also been called "the eighth wonder of the world" by East Roman Philon as far back as the 6th century. The current Hagia Sophia is the third construction, done in a different architectural style, even though it occupies the same location as the previous two. The original building was constructed by the most important architects of the period (527-565), Anthemios (Tralles) and Isidoros (Miletus), under the order of Emperor Justinian's. It is mentioned in the resources that during its construction period, the two prominent architects each had 100 architects working under them, who in turn had 100 workers each working under them.

It was used as a church for 916 years but, following the conquest of Istanbul by Fatih Sultan Mehmed, the Hagia Sophia was converted into the mosque. Afterward, it was used as a mosque for 482 years. Under the order of Atatürk and the decision of the Council of Ministers, Hagia Sophia was converted into a museum in 1935. Hagia Sophia is open for the visit every day. The winter visiting hours for the Hagia Sophia are from 09.00 to 17.00, with the final entry being at 16.00. During the summer, the visiting hours are between 09.00 and 19.00, with the final entry being at 18.00. Passes are available at the box office in the museum.

After we visit the Hagia Sophia, we take lunch but we walk thru pass the Roman Hippodrome when Horse Chariot races were held in Constantinople. The Hippodrome of Constantinople was a circus that was the sporting and social center of Constantinople, the capital of the Byzantine Empire. Today it is a square named Sultanahmet Meydanı (Sultan Ahmet Square) in the Turkish city of Istanbul, with a few fragments of the original structure surviving.

The word hippodrome comes from the Greek hippos (ἵππος), horse, and dromos (δρόμος), path or way. For this reason, it is sometimes also called Atmeydanı ("Horse Square") in Turkish. Horse racing and chariot racing were popular pastimes in the ancient world and hippodromes were common features of Greek cities in the Hellenistic, Roman, and Byzantine eras.

Sorry, this photo turn like this. This is the deserts I most like it.
We take our lunch at dubb Kebab restaurant. This time, our lunch is chicken and rice. I this deserts but I forget its name. It's so delicious.  

After lunch, we visit the Blue Mosque the famous mosque in Istanbul. The layout of the Blue Mosque is classic Ottoman design. The Blue Mosque (Called Sultanahmet Camii in Turkish) is a historical mosque in Istanbul. The mosque is known as the Blue Mosque because of blue tiles surrounding the walls of interior design.Mosque was built between 1609 and 1616 years, during the rule of Ahmed I. just like many other mosques, it also comprises a tomb of the founder, a madrasah and a hospice.Besides still used as a mosque, the Sultan Ahmed Mosque has also become a popular tourist attraction in Istanbul.

Besides being the tourist attraction, it's also an active mosque, so it's closed to nonworshippers for a half hour or so during the five daily prayers. The best way to see great architecture of the Blue Mosque is to approach it from the Hippodrome. (West side of the mosque) As if you are the non-Muslim visitor, you also have to use the same direction to enter the Mosque.  ​​

P/S: Please ignore and avoid people who offer you to enter the mosque without queue up. Those people mostly will try to sell you something and take you to some shopping place. The best way is to line up and enter Mosque just like other tourists. Don't worry if the line looks very long, it will move very fast for sure. 

Now is shopping time at Grand Bazaar. The Grand Bazaar is one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world, with 61 covered streets and over 4,000 shops which attract between 250,000 and 400,000 visitors daily. The Grand Bazaar in Istanbul is often regarded as one of the first shopping malls in the world.

After 3 hours we shopping there, then we take our dinner at the seafood restaurant as our last dinner at Istanbul, Turkey before us going back to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Day 10. The meals are gill fish and it suits to me. I like it so much.

Time to packing and take last rest at the beautiful city of Istanbul, Turkey. I feel sad when I think about the last day we holiday at Turkey, 

Here, the link to the continue stories about Wonderful Trip to Turkey with Spring Tulip 2016 – Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, Day 6, Day 7, Day 8, Day 10, and Day 11.