After the previous day’s drizzle, we are pleased to see that today, there’s no rain! YAY!
I really am not so fond of rain. My hair frizzes up and it’s so uncomfortably wet!
As usual we begin the day with a fabulous breakfast.
Menemen from Mado!
My faaaaaaaaaaaavourite dessert ever – the kunefe. Crunch on the outside and cheese on the inside. Served with Vanilla Bean Icecream.
Then we set off to the Topkapi Palace.
The Topkapi Palace was built during the reign of the Ottoman Empire and was used as a residence for about 400 years.
Better read here.
The sultan will meet people here.
The pulpit in the surau.
Pakai ku minum sorbet.
This area overlooks the Bosphorus. Last time during ramadhan, the sultan woukd break his fast in that hut with the golden roof straight ahead.
Outside the living areas of the royal family. You need to pay an extra €15 to see the harem (where they live).
Check out this big ass mirror in the harem!!!! #wishlist
An audience hall inside the harem.
Near the entrance is this chair. How tall are people??? My feet can’t reach the ground haha.
Turban room! Cute holes in the wall is where the turbans are stored.
Actually in Topkapi Palace, are stored some sacred relics of the Islamic world such as:
- Nabi Muhammad’s sword
- Nabi Muhammad’s hair
- His teeth
- His war banner
- Nabi Musa’s staff
- Nabi Ibrahim & Nabi Ismail’s items including a turban
- Kaabah’s garter
- The metal surrounding hajaralaswad
And plenty more!
We spent the longest time there. The place was really really tightly protected, with armed guards. Plus lights are dimmed to the very minimum to prevent deterioration of the relics. It is said that the relics were stored there for protection during war in Mekah and Madinh.
Unfortunately photos are not allowed.
Gosh. Syukur alhamdulliah ya Allah I get to see all this. It’s strange that in Turkey, which admittedly is a secular country, that practices the most light of Islamic mazhab, Hanafi, I feel very close to the prophet.
It is a marvellous feeling.
Topkapi visit took up most of our afternoon and soon, it was 400pm. We had an appointment at Aya Sofya Hammam at 5pm so we had salep first.
Also, we found Boza. The other famous winter drink.
Tastes like tapai haha. Apparently it’s fermented milk. It’s ok – perhaps on a day that’s so windy and freezing i’d have enjoyed it nore if it’s hot haha.
Salem wanted Gdah’s hotdog haha. No no! Ok fine here u go. Who can say no to Salem? 😂😂😂 #kesian
So drinks took 5-10 minutes and we still had 40 mins to kill. Shopping it is. Lol
Arasta Bazaar is near our hotel. Passed by everyday when we go out. It’s like a curated Grand Bazaar without pushy vendors. Similar prices too.
You CANNOT go to Turkey and not do the hammam. There are plenty through out Turkey and our first experience was in Cappadocia. To say culture shock was an understatement.
Basically, in a hammam, this is what happens.
- Change out of clothes – EVERYTHING COMES OFF. You can keep your panties on. In Aya Sofya you are given disposable undies.
- Brought to the bath area. You sit on the marble platform and pour water on yourself from copper bowls. In the Cappadocia one, you go to a real modern shower – there’s yummy goats milk soap provided.
- Then while you sit, they scrub you with a cloth version of sandpaper. Your dead skin will fall off in disgusting ribbons. Yes no matter how often u bathe. In Cappadocia this was done while you lie down on the marble slab.
- Clay mud mask is applied all over your body. Smells divine like Jasmines. This step is done paling awal in the Cappadocia hamam but only on your face. U wash it off during the shower.
- Then time to lie down on themarble slab, and u get a lovely bubble massage.
- When done you are brought to “recuperate”. Cool down, drink rose sorbets and eat a big ass platter of delicious fruits and nuts.
- When sufficiently cooled down (u can take as long as you want) time for your 45 minute massage.
The tiles are warm and delicious.
Apparently this hamam was just restored and reopened in 2011 after a meticulous restoration. Really really can see the details put into the restoration.
Love the detail of the plumbing – tulip like the national flower. The experience is both opulent and historic.
Beautiful modern toilets built above the original site of the Bath of Zeuxippus.
Anyway what a wonderful experience- highly recommended!!!
After that we went to have dinner (sans makeup cause they remove everything at the hamam) feeling so relaxed and yummy.
It’s a random place near the Sultanahmet tram station.
My favourite stew.
Then walked along the street to purchase some baklava for my sister who has been craving for baklavas for the past 5 years or so. 😂😂
There’s Hafiz Mustafa and Sultanahmet Lokumcusu on the street but definitely prefer the second. 😁😁
Then back to hotel to pack pack pack. Cause it’s the end of the trip 😭😭😭 the next day we went to the airport and took a flight back to Brunei via Singapore.
Miss home and my darling husband everyday when I was away but its a bittersweet feeling to be at the end of a beautiful holiday, especially one as memorable as this.
- First time to travel with my eldest sister in a very long time- last was in 2011 when I joined her for her work trip in Singapore! So funny to realise that we have so many more similarities than previously thought haha. Example: Too many photos are similar on our IG. Check them out by searching for the hashtag #aegeanodyssey2016. It’s like it’s programmed in our DNA or something-but if u actually know both of us u will realise that having so many similar photos is strange as we are really different kinds of people!
- Second trip with work buddy Gdah who is lovely company as usual! Also she takes awesome photos with better skill than previous trip! Lawa gambar ku!!! I love it!!!
- I dunno how many trips i’ve taken together with one of my closest besties Ariffin! ❤️❤️ Seems like I’m constantly shocked by how much sleep and junk food he needs hahahaha.
For sure there will be more adventures in the future with these lovely people! 😍
Also for a very long time, I finally completed a holiday blog series and I’m so glad!
Thank you guys for reading – regular programming will resume after this post. 😍❤️
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