Day 2- 1st April 2016
Istanbul is certainly gorgeous. I dare say nobody would deny that. Napoleon Bonaparte once referred to it. He said: "If the world were a single state Istanbul would be it's capital."
Tired as we were, we did not waste a wink in the flight, only arose when the plane was completely landed at Sabiha. We then boarded a coach to Istanbul city. I reckon the journey was about 1 hour and half and I must say that the views were always of tall buildings, very busy and lively throughout. Well, I was sleeping during the journey but every now and then I opened my eyes, it was that kind of view. How big the is city actually? I do not know. I am not giving the figure here.
We then had to figure our way to Golden Horn Hotel. Trying to look sleek as if we know how and where we were supposed to be just not to be cheated by dodgy people who might do a little service and asking a fortune. Alhamdulillah, everyone that we met actually were sincerely helping us. However, those few bad memories in the past really stuck in head and controlled the thoughts. After a while, we then found the right tram. I have never imagined Istanbul to be very city-like, very busy and big. I have never imagined Bosphorus Strait to be part of the city and giving life to the people and completes the beauty of Istanbul. I was absolutely stunned by it.
After checking in the hotel, we then decided to wander around with the help of a little map from the hotel. We then found ourselves in a park full of tulips, Gulhane Park just next to the Topkapi Palace. Took a few shots of pictures, or should I say a couple of dozens of each of us in there with all the different colours of tulips.
Gulhane Park was full of blooming tulips of many different colours. Tulips were originally a wild flower growing in the Central Asia and were first cultivated by the Turks as early as 1,000 AD. The flower were introduced in the westen Europe and the Netherlands in the 17th century by Carolus Clusius, a famous biologist from Vienna. Satisfied, we then had to gratify and feed our tummy. Seeing how scrumptious the corns outside, I can’t wait but handed in 3 TL for a corn and was utterly disappointed. It might even be 5TL, I just can’t recall how much the corn was. Found a reasonable restaurant and dined in there. Happy tummy.
The yard of the Blue Mosque was our next shooting site. Lol. There was this one episode where we were taking pictures of each other and tried to have one with all four of us in it. Not having a selfie stick, the next option was a selfie as we were to wary to trust anyone to hold our camera. A man then came, “Let me take a picture of you guys”. “It is alright, we actually love selfies, it is a popular trend now you know”, replied one of us which was then followed by frowns by three others. A selfie then was captured. The same man then showed us the bazaar next to the Blue Mosque and the way into the mosque as Maghrib was approaching. Did Maghrib in Sultan Ahmed Mosque/ Blue Mosque. The interior design is finished with blue tiles, hence the name.
Later at night, we joined all the other LUMSOC buddies and Jejak Uthmaniyah (JU) in a restaurant. Brought a pile of something that looks like sand and fire surrounding it, one would certainly be surprised the first time seeing it. It was actually like a cocoon of salts with chickens in it, just needed to be burnt and cracked open before one could set his teeth on it. Well, yes, I can't remember its name. Sorry.
So, that was how the day went.