[Roadtrip] WEMW : Istanbul, Turkey - Part 1

January 21, 2015

Wohoo, more posts about the trip will be coming soon :) I'll try to write few posts before get back preparing for final exam of next subject. 

So far I remember, for previous post, we finally arrived Istanbul and slept soundly. Fantastic sleep! Haha. 

Now, let's explore Istanbul!

Istanbul, Turkey

Teheee. :D

We started our day in the afternoon (I guess, we were so tired back then. :p). After having 'breakfast', we planned to cover Topkapi Palace and Hagia Sophia for the first day. So, we walked out from the apartment then, suddenly we reached the sea. What? Why sea? Oh man, we were walking to the opposite direction from the center! T_T *facepalm*

When time was limited for us, we tried to get back to our target destination by walking along the road beside the sea. Fortunately, we found a couple who were heading to the same direction and actually at that time, we can easily see lots of tourist buses, vans and taxis heading the same way as us. :)

Tourist attractions spotted!

We walked along Arasta Bazaar to reach Blue Mosque. I will cover Blue Mosque later, yea.

Istanbul, Turkey
Arasta Bazaar - we can go shopping here, but there are more places to do so; we just skip pass it through :)

Istanbul, Turkey
Roadtrip buddies! <3
The first thing we should do that time was to change some money. How can we buy the tickets or food if we don't have Turkish Lira? haha. The currency was 1 Euro = 2.70 Lira. More better currency rate when you walk along the main straight road of Sultanahmet (along the tram).

Istanbul, Turkey
Sweet Turkish delight! - picture credit to Maryam

Istanbul, Turkey
Baklava! - Special for people with sweet tooth. hehe. picture - credit to Maryam

My friend bought some Turkish Delight - to eat while we walk. They are very sweet to me. Phewww, but I can't resist them, they are tasty!

Turkish Delight (like hard jelly of starch and sugar - with many flavours!)
Baklava (sweet pastry with many layers - filled with nuts, and sweetened by syrup/honey) 

While walking to Topkapi Palace, there were so many interesting places to stop by and of course for taking few pictures of memories :D 

Istanbul, Turkey
We-fie with Turkish-tourists. Supposedly, we just asked a guy to take our picture,  but, just realised he was in a group of this!. Loud group. Haha. :p

One of interesting architecture is this;
The Milion Stone

Istanbul, Turkey
The Milion Stone

I just knew that this stone used to be a starting point of all roads to reach Constantinople in Ancient Rome. And it was used to calculate distance from cities all around the world to Istanbul.

Istanbul, Turkey

View from the Milion Stone. You can see distances from some cities on the signboards. :)

Not just that, there was a wooden floor (pelantar kayu?) with more cities and the distances. So, generally, distance from Istanbul to Kuala Lumpur is 11300 km

Istanbul, Turkey
Missing home. T_T

After walking for few more meters, we arrived Topkapi Palace! Alhamdulillah.

Istanbul, Turkey
Here we are! 

It is a really nice historical place, especially to learn and see the era of Ottoman Empire. With 30 Lira, I think you can cover basic areas of Topkapi and if you more money and time, please, buy the tickets for whole Topkapi. During winter, it is closed quite early, about 4.45 pm if I'm not mistaken. T_T 

Refer this website for more details.

It is a very big place to walk in, so I suggest to spend a day / half a day here. And come early morning on weekdays, when it is not yet crowded. So, you can cover the whole exhibits and rooms. We didn't take the audio tour guide - it is quite expensive but we were mesmerized enough with what have been exhibited to us :). 

Istanbul, Turkey
Large Gate of Salutation (Babus Salam) 
This is Gate of Salutation known as Middle Gate; leads into the palace and the Second Courtyard. The tower looks more like - Byzantine style than Ottoman.You can enter Topkapi after buying tickets at the booth around here. :) Long queue of course!

Istanbul, Turkey
The garden inside.

Topkapi is full of Ottoman's architecture. There are large collections of stuffs used in that era. Like porcelains, jewelries, weapons, shields, armors, calligraphic manuscripts, treasures. What I can say, as time goes by, most of the items are more well decorated. :) 
Istanbul, Turkey
One of the exhibition room in Topkapi.

Some exhibitions do not allow tourists to take pictures, maybe due to fragility of the items. Maybe. Or their exclusiveness. No worries, just enjoy all of them by your own eyes!

Since we only have few hours in Topkapi, we needed to make the tour memorable. The first building we went was enough to make me happy. What did I see? :D

Istanbul, Turkey
picture credit here

The Sword of Fatih / Mehmed II / Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror! I'm sure you know who is he. A guy at the age of 21 who conquered Constantinople and brought an end to the Byzantine Empire. It was like battling against the strong empire that time!  

I love all calligraphy on all swords - how it inspired them to go on battles with hearts remembering Allah. And this one quoted from Fatih's sword. 

Istanbul, Turkey
picture credit here

“Bismillahirrahmanirrahim (in the name of Allah, the most beneficient, the most merciful). Praise be to Allah Almighty who blessed religious faith with lustrous & lucid verses and sharp & shining swords. Salat and salam upon our noble Prophet Muhammad and his household who are attributed with the most exquisite, lucent words. 
Bless and strengthen Mehmed II, son of Murad II, the poignant sword that is drawn in the name of jihad; the Sultan of ghazis and mujahideen that strive to glorif the holy men of Allah; may the necks of enemies of Shariat become the scabbard of his sword; shed your grace on the ink of his pen.
Son of Osman, son of Orhan, son of Murad, son of Beyazit, son of Mehmed; may Allah cleanse them with the heavenly waters (zulal) that streamed by the swords of ghazis and place the under the shadow of swords in heaven. Amen ya rabbelalemin (God of all universes). 

Strong words; smile with tears.

Another corner of the palace, it has beautiful view of Bosphorus. Bosphorus is basically the strait that form the boundary between Europe and Asia which make the place we stand here as the 'European' side of Turkey :) It is a narrow strait, with metro and roads connecting both sides. 

Istanbul, Turkey
Behind there, the 'Asia' side of Turkey. 

After feeling wish-to come-again-but-satisfied with Topkapi, we went to Blue Mosque to perform prayers. :) Oh, have I mentioned, we can hear Adzan here all over Istanbul from the mosques. Alhamdulillah, the feeling was just peaceful. :) Smile smile smile!

InsyAllah, I'll continue soon in Part 2.

v Khaulah,

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