And the story begins.
Finally, the hectic check in process was finished. Even tough there was a little bit disturbance concerning my visa to Turkey. But, it was cleared stated on the website of foreign ministry of Turkey. As Indonesian citizen, I was enrolled to have visa on arrival gate. So, the problem was solved. Here I am. Leaving Congo to fly to Turkey. Merhaba, Turkiye.
I landed safely at Ataturk International Airport. It was still early morning, around 07.45 am. Somebody from hotel was already there to pick me. I was not alone. There are two other passengers in the car.
I will spend two days in Istanbul before reaching my next destinations (Kappadokya, Pamukkale and Izmir). During my stays in Istanbul, I stayed in Modern Sultan Hotel located in Sultanahmet area, only five minutes walking distance from Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, TopkapiPalace, Cistern Basilica and many more.
In my first day, I just walked around in Sultanahmet. It’s an old town of Istanbul, located in the European side. As we know, Istanbul has two continents in it. Asia and Europe, which is connected by Bosphorus strait. The roads are not plain. It’s contoured and cover by paving block instead of asphalt.
The path around Sultanahmet area
I met Fatih, my Turkish pen pal who was very kind to take me around. Our first destination was Blue Mosque. No blue color dominated the mosque, if you see it from outside. But, once you entered the mosque you’ll be amazed with blue color decorated the walls. The mosaic, the walls, the windows and calligraphy taken from Quran are using blue colour.
Blue Mosque during autumn
Inside Blue Mosque
Entering blue mosque, if you are woman, you have to cover yourself. Scarf and long skirts are provided in the entrance. Short pants are also not allowed for men.
Blue mosque and Hagia Sophia (the museum) are separated by big plaza. In this plaza, some seats and benches are provided for the tourists. The merchants sell their merchandises (most of them are scarf) along the street.
Baloon seller in front of Blue Mosque
I and Blue Mosque
After visiting Blue Mosque, Fatih showed me around the city. We went to Suleymaniye Bazar and I had a chance to taste Turkish traditional food. I forgot the name, but it was made from bean. And it’s commonly found in Turkey. Once evening came, I said good bye to Fatih.
I’m at Sulaymaniye Food Bazar
Turkish food made from bean which commonly found in Turkiye
Suleymaniye Food Bazar
Spending my evening, I went to one restaurant called Alemdar to watch Sufi dance. Or it’s also known as Dervish Dance or Whirling Dance. The dance is actually meditation form to reach the source of all perfection by listening the music and focus on God. There are four dancers and three musicians who played along together. Here with I share some pictures.
The musiccians playing along the dancers
And this is how it ends
To be continued