#aegeanodyssey2016 Istanbul Aku Datang

  For those wondering, this is what an emergency passport looks like.   

When you lose your passport in a foreign country, you need to get in touch with the nearest big embassy and they will assist to issue this for you. 

You will need to lodge a police report in the country where it happened, write an official letter requesting these emergency papers, and provide your full flight itinerary.

If you happen to be in a bureaucratic country like Greece, you will need to produce proof of your identity before the report. This is why, it’s always a good idea to keep copies of your passport.

FYI, as these papers will grant you only a passage out of your current country, if you were planning to visit other countries after the current country where you lost your passport, you can forget all your plans. Haha. 

You will need to adjust your ticket and bear all the cost of changes. This means, if your ticket does not allow changes, you will need to buy a new one. 

In this case, if you have travel insurance you are safe! Most travel insurance will cover this and reimburse u for the extra costs of “deportation”.

Moral of the story:

  1. Keep copies of your passport, even if only on your phone.
  2. Purchase travel insurance!!! Especially on long extended trips far away!
  3. If you don’t believe in travel insurance be prepared to provision a LOT of emergency funds.
  4. Find out if the country you are in has a special police station specific for tourists
  5. Find out where the nearest embassy is and who is working in it. Knowing someone really helps.

So as this is what happened in Athens to one of our travel mates, he couldn’t join us in Istanbul. 

It’s 3 girls left. 

And omg! Because we didn’t have a male chaperone anymore, we actually got a lot of attention from random men – beginning with the guys who chopped our passport in immigration!

Upon our arrival, we took a taxi to Sultanahmet where our hotel is. FYI, actually before the whole Athens Airbnb Incident,  we booked accomodation through Airbnb for Istanbul. But due to the awful experience with our Airbnb host in Athens, we cancelled the booking and booked a proper hotel on Agoda instead.

#scarredforlife

Anyway Sultanahmet turns out to be a very charming area – full of cafes, restaurants, close to a tram station, refurbished Byzantine buildings turned hotels, and best of all, the 4 sites we planned on visiting are within walking distance:

  1. Hagia Sophia
  2. Sultanahmet Mosque (Blue Mosque)
  3. Basilica Cistern
  4. Topkapi Palace

 

I really like this neighborhood. ❤️

I really really like Istanbul!

On the first day, we woke up really late haha. Skipped breakfast and went straight to lunch in Turkuaz (Turquoise) Restaurant voted number 1 on Tripadvisor.

     
    
    

Different from the food we had in Selçuk and Cappadocia which were more healthy more veggies, we were soon to discover that food in Istanbul are more hearty, and contains more meat. 

Sahlep our favourite drink made from orchid flour, spiked witha dash of cinnamon, is also more readily available compared to the other regions.

Full, our first stop of the day was Hagia Sophia.

  

Do u know the story of Hagia Sophia? It was a church back in the Byzantine times, then the Ottomans came bringing Islam and converted the church into a mosque, and even eradicated all Christian symbols like crosses and changed them all to something else like flowers. Now it has been converted into a museum.

As usual, cats will be first to greet us!
  

Hagia Sofia under restoration works. 
  

Note thr calligraphy style which is very signature of Ottoman Caligraphy and also very popular in Brunei.  
    
  

Remnants of Christian mosaics.   
   
 The Weeping Column which apparently is always wet and if you have a headache, you just put ur head here and baik tia.

  Old fashioned tangga for cleaning back in the days. #takut

 

Definitely a must visit in Istanbul.  

Our next stop: food vendors outside.

    
   
INDA NYAMAN. Dry and flavour less haha.

Jangan tah bali. Save your money! 

Next stop: Blue Mosque  

        
Nah betudong. 

  
Rupanya saspen. I thought it’s very blue cause Turkey is a very blue sort of country. Tapi actually just hints of blue here and there. Hehe.

  Visiting Hagia Sophia and Sultanahmet Mosque gave me a jittery feeling inside. Here I am so small, and here is the history of Islam. Islam is so old, and rich. There’s just so many more mysteries to be uncovered. And it’s so humbling that you can see this old world still today. 

I also realise now that the Ottoman Empire was the height of Islamic colonisation. We were so inspired and creative.

  

Amazing.

After all that history we needed to come back to the present.

So we went to TAKSIM!!!

Time for sweets so we dropped by Hafiz Mustafa.         

And Taksim is really a world away!

Streetfood galore!   

Potatoes as big as my face!  

 Potato kebab! Haha.  
Shopping galore! Find everything under the sun.

  

People galore!

Sampai I just teduduk inside H&M.

 
High street of Istanbul- Taksim.


Walk until the end then catch the antique Tram back up!

   
   
Then balikkkk. Time to sleep! 

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s