Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Istanbul - a historical city

We were well known for carrying the heavy bags along the street, when we depart from our hostel, heading to our very first destination - The BLUE MOSQUE, we were invited to have tea in a restaurant - Ocean,s 7. One of the managers or bosses said that he recognized us carrying heavy bags. At first, I was trying to walk away, as I always think that these people were just trying to catch customers from the street. But, this time, it's hard to reject, he invited us for free Turkish Traditional Black Tea, which is one of the drink in our list, so, we just went in.

I guess most of us wouldn't feel appropriate to leave without ordering something else in the menu, at least pay a little? We ordered a simple chicken sandwich, as we didn't plan to spend a lot for lunch. It's one of the cheapest thing in the menu - 7 T.L (RM12.60), it's in the snack section, so we thought that it'll be a small piece of bread with some boiled chicken fillet and a few slices of cucumbers and mayo. But it came in a huge place with one large piece of bread cutting into half (something like Russian "baton"), with huge pieces of grilled chicken fillet, cucumbers and tomatoes, and is garnished with fries. So, lunch is done!

Walking under the hot sun was unbearable. It's 31'C according to google. With my spectacles on, I can't put on my sunglasses, I didn't have a hat. I just felt like fainting.

The Blue Mosque was magnificent.
Free of charge! It's quite congested, there were people praying, cleaning up themselves at the "fountain". The queue was pretty long, but the workers are efficient, we didn't wait long to enter.

It wasn't early when we finished visiting Blue Mosque, and the tiredness of traveling from the airport earlier, we didn't enter Hagia Sophia the same day, though it's just opposite of the blue mosque. Instead, we went to the Basilical Cistern, a place we visited quite coincidentally that day, as it was suggested by a shopkeeper, who ran across the road to grab customers for his shop, located just next to the cistern.

One of the thing I hate the most about traveling in Istanbul is, they don't have discount for student! And all the 50% discounts, with or without müzekart, are only valid for their own citizen. Entrance fees for various museums varies from 10-20T.L. (RM36-72). Pretty expensive.

Then we went to the Hippodrome, nothing much from there, but it's famous for its remaining building structure.

There are so much more to mention about the first day, but it's pretty late now. So, it's time for bed. Let's continue tomorrow!

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