Thursday, August 7, 2008

Turkey - continuation of Day 2

Stepping into Istanbul ...

...In the airport, European looking people were flooding the place. Being totally naïve over Turkey, we believed that Turkey people looked like European. But ends up that those are just visitors. We were caught on that one, though!

We were cruising Istanbul and it’s almost night fall. 5PM we were introduced to our tour leader, Bayazid. Carol our tour manager and EZ our bus driver.

The first thought about Istanbul? It’s really beautiful! Beautiful coastlines with large cruise ships, magnificent mosques, churches and palaces adorned the already densely inhabited hills. The place reminded me of a rich city in the ancient world. Even though Turkey made up of 99% Muslim, the place lingered of European atmosphere. What can we say? Istanbul was the capital of Rome, Byzantium and the Ottoman Empire once upon a time. If you have heard about Constantinople and wonder where it is, well to cut the long story short, it is the old name of Istanbul during the reign of the Roman empire. After the Ottoman empire seized Constantinople, Istanbul was born. Istanbul is indeed the only city in the world which is situated in 2 continents-Asia & Europe.

As we progressed further into the city, a strange sight loomed in the distance. There was a huge wall surrounding a huge part of the city. The wall looked old and it could be from one of the ancient city once upon a time. I wonder what was in there? I tried to peer into the other side of the wall but it was so tall, I can’t see a thing. Curiosity filled each of us. What’s the mystery behind the wall?

“Inside this old city walls lies the old city” came our know it all tour leader. “This old city walls was built during the Roman empire from attacks”

It was getting pretty late and we had a nice dinner in a pimped up seafood restaurant near the Fish market. After dinner, we had short walks around the area. Only then we realized Istanbul is a pretty scary place for female travellers. Turkish men can come up to you making small talks or asking you to take picture with them just like that! It’s pretty uncomfortable and you got to take extra caution not to make any eye contact with people there. Once I was looking at a fish stall and accidentally looked at the owner in the face. Then, the stare never stops.

We were relieved to be transported back to our little hotel. The hotel was filled with cigarette smoke. After a couple of days in Turkey, I see almost everyone guys or gals smoke. You can smoke anywhere & anytime. The only non smoking sign I could see was in our very own tour bus and okay, some museums.

We were waiting for the couple to use the lift. However, when the lift came back to the lobby, the couple was still in there. They were saying there was no door at Level 5. What does that mean? So they went up again to Level 5. Su & I waited and when the door opened. There it is! The couple was still in there. We see the lift going up to Level 5 again. Su and I were laughing hysterically when the lift opened and the couple was still in there! So we decided to take the lift up to our room first. When we reached level 4, the lift stopped. Su told me, faster open the door. Mind you the lift door was manual. Su was banging the door open. I looked on the right and saw there was another door on the other side of the lift wall. Opened it and we stepped out into Level 4. The hotel really lived up to its name. Cartoon Hotel. I mean, is this a joke? No, I m serious. We really stayed in Cartoon hotel.

We were treated with a pleasant surprise in our bathroom. I was showering in this what looked like multi button shower system. You can enjoy a rain shower, normal shower or a Jacuzzi shower. A button was pressed and voila! Flourescent blue lights filled the shower. I pressed another button and music came out! I was having so much fun in the shower and don’t wanna come out. Hehe

The Shower: I wish to have this shower in my home!
-As the Noobs did not turn the camera vertically, U have to view the video at 90 degrees-

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