Sunday, June 8, 2008

Turkey - Day 9

Final day in Turkey

I had mixed feelings. The journey to the West is coming to an end. At the same time, I can't wait to go back home. My bed, my laksa mmmm...

After breakfast, our group split into two. As I am not a big fan of cruises, I decided to hop off the ship and resort to a free and easy trip to the streets of Istanbul. No doubt the luxurious Bosphorus cruise promised an enchanting sights of palaces and mosques, I prefer to save up as cruises put me to sleep most of the time.

A small group of us embarked our journey to the streets of Istanbul. Around the corner from our hotel, lies a shopping haven. There are branded shops everywhere. This street reminded me of Ginza in Japan. Similar to Ginza, if you are a good shopper, you will get some good bargains even for branded goods. Su and I stumbled upon a small alley along the street. The alley is somewhat quieter. I was ecstatic. There were colourful hand painted lamps, delicate sequined scarfs, shiny embelished jewelry boxes, paintings and the list goes on. To quality of the goods are so fine. Unlike the creepy traders from the Grand Bazaar, the shop keepers let you browse their goods at ease. The price are far more reasonable but I still managed to bargain all the stuff I bought from the shops there. Time is ticking and we hurried ourselves back to our hotel. Halfway through, we stopped by a local Kebab shop. The trip wouldn't be complete without a taste of this Turkish specialty. It only costs 3 lira for a fat piece of Kebab.

Juices of the meat and the fresh vegetable wow...the taste...heaven!

We were thinking why our tour did not even gave us a taste of the Kebab and all that they fed us was the same old sphagetti and weird sauces.

As we reached back our hotel, we were expecting our tour bus waiting outside but it was nowhere in sight. A few minutes later, the bus came to pick us up and then headed to gather the rest of them who went for the Bosphorus cruise. When they came up, I was shocked as they have not even did the Bosphorus cruise! Due to the overwhelming response, they have to take the next Bosphorus cruise in the next 2 hours. I couldn't help but praising ourselves for not following the cruise.

We were whisked to a restaurant overlooking the sea for our lunch. I really liked the ambience of this restaurant. However, I could feel my exhaustion creeping up at me that all I can eat was the salad and lots of water. Nevertheless, this will be the last meal we will have as a group.

After lunch, once again we were separated into 2 groups. One back to the Bosphorus tour and the rest of us back at the hotel. Su and I were so exhausted and I could not seem to hold my eyes open. I fell asleep on the hotel's couch and was awaken by a loud giggle. Some of our tourmates were excitedly chatting about the Levi's shirts that were on discount. Su and I decided to head back to the shopper's street again hoping to get some good bargains. However, we could not find such bargains and headed back to the hotel as time is running out.

The bus picked us up again and this time, we are really heading to the airport. We asked those who went to the Bosphorus tour. They said although the view is nice, there are no meals served and the belly dancers in the cruise are the ones we saw yesterday night during dinner. Once again, I praised myself for saving up some cash for good :)

As we moved out from Istanbul, I was pretty excited and all I can think about was a long sleep in the airplane. Goodbye Turkey. What an awesome trip this is!

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