Tuesday, May 15, 2012

#Bulgamerica Day 6 : A Night in Istanbul

My Turkish Bed Cover
Another new city to explore! This one is completely new and different. Never been to any Middle East country before. Many of BMS members have.

First thing we did was finding a money exchance, because Turkiye has a different money currency than Bulgaria. Then, tried to find perfect partner(s) to explore the city! This is quite important, since we only had about 6 hours before midnight. We're leaving the city the next morning for the flight to Washington DC. :(

Our Turkish Hotel Room
Okay, I've chosen two of my best guys to walk around: Arvin and Ocep. Love them both. Well, to be honest, the second one is quite mean, I can say. Less tolerant! No complaints are acceptable! Hahaa, he's gonna kill me if he reading this. Yeah, but their non-shopping-time-embrace-the-moment-instead type of explore still suits me best though. So, I tag along my roomates, the funky mama : "Mutee", and the going-where-the-wind-blows girl "Pithoeng" to walk together.

The Blue Mosque
The Blue Mosque
Our first destination was the place of Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque (The Sultan Ahmed Mosque), which were in walking distance from our hotel. My eyes could't stop looking and admiring all those middle-eastern crafts, carpets, bags, clothes, the very typical patterns. Ever imagine an old mama sofa with all those curly details? Nah, it's everywhere!

I can't imagine how precious these are. This place used to be the most important place in the world. The civilizations started here, in the time of Byzantium, many many many centuries ago. Istanbul's very strategic position in the Silk Road had brought this place many steps ahead.

As a musician, I realized, these kind of chants, the early Christianity, also started them all. Now Turkey is an Islamic country. Those chants are still beautifully heard to my ears. I don't care if it's adzan whatsoever. All I know, people have been chanting these, praising their Gods, for thousands of years. Beautiful.

After about 20 minutes walk, we arrived at the Hagia Sofia. Whew, I know this used to be the world's biggest cathedral for a thousand years. It sits side by side to the very famous Blue Mosque. They both are very pretty.

We continued walking and took a bus to another must-see place : the Bosphorus! I met a Turkish guy in Instagram (his ID is @svanli, check it out) and I asked him to recommend a place to see for a short stay in Istanbul, and he suggested this one.

I don't see anything special about the bridge. But, again, I can see why this place is important. This used to be the bussiest waterways in the world, since it's the only connection between the Eastern and the Middle East.

We took a walk to the next side of the Bridge, the Asian side. Hey, hey! Hear me, guys? Took a waaaalk to ASIA from EUROPEE? Wohoo! Where else can we do thaat besides Istanbul? :)) #overexcited It's the only city in the world that laids between two continents!

The Galata Tower
Then we took a long way up to the Galata Tower (about 15 minutes walk from the Bosporus). Well, I don't think it should be that hard and that long if ee didn't take the wrong way. We chose the very very steep way up! Thanks to Arvin and Pepi! Aarghh!

But finally, we reached the tower. There's a small plaza under, around the tower. People sitting, drinking, chattering, and laughing in small groups. We've met drunk people during our travels, but at this place, they're less annoying, I must say.

They're all seemed scary to us with their long beards, long hairs, and headbands. But then we realized, it's just another definition of 'fashion' on this side of earth though. Oh, well...

It's such a happy place. I was stoned watching those people, especially when one group playing a happy music on a guitar-sounded-alike instrument (I think it was a mandoline), and some people started to dance! They jumped around together rithmycally.

I could see myself there, walking closer and introducing myself, then drinking and laughing and dancing together, all night long.

Erhh, those were only in my imagination though. I realized it was too dangerous to be done alone, as I can see the rest of my friends were already walking home. There was just me and Arvin, spending more time NEAR the crowds, instead of IN the crowds :'(

After that, we took a slow walk back to the hotel, accompanied by words flowing through our lips.

The previous views were repeated. The smell of the sea, the closing night bazaar, the dim lighting of the city full of beautiful mosques, the already-closed shops with those old-mama sofa details, and the sweet Turkish delight on the window shops. This time, I took less attention to them. Just needed to feel them around me.

It's almost 2 am, and it's freezing. Too bad the night had to come to an end. Time to say goodbye, both to the city and this guy walking with me. Sadly, he's not joining our next travel to US. Thank you for the memorable night, both of you.
A Night Market at The Bosphorus
City Night View


  1. Anonymous10:30 AM

    yeahhh, I'm mean and I'm reading this blog, wkwkwkwkw #tunggupembalasanguayaaaaa

  2. Seems like Arabian night,hehe...
    Menyenangkan sekali bisa bernyanyi sambil berkeliling dunia *mupeng*
    Good Luck, Kak Obi :)

  3. Anonymous10:42 AM

    nice kak obayy...=D

  4. Anonymous11:30 AM

    kok ga ada foto kita nya bi??? :P


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