I came back to Istanbul after five amazing tour days in Cappadocia, Pamukkale and Ephesus. I knew these trips were going to be good. But, I didn’t imagine that these trips would become incredible. Travelling alone, but I never felt lonely during my journeys. I always found some nice people to talk and be with. There are Fatih, my Turkish pen pal; Julie, Michael, Terry, Tomo, etc, my adventure partners in Cappadocia; Yuan, Malaysian girl living in Singapore that became my long journey bus partner for these three trips; Elizabeth, my mate during the trips in Pamukkale, Angel (not the real name. For her personal and security reason, I will not mention her real name), a lovely and nice Iraqi girl that I met in Ephesus. I have to thank to Over Seas Travel Agent, especially their staff Umut Baykan who arranged and provided these amazing trips for me.
After saying good bye to Yuan at Istanbul bus station (Yuan went back to Singapore in the same day, but I still have another day before leaving Istanbul), I took shuttle bus to bring me back to Sultanahmet. Shuttle bus only reached a place (I didn’t even know where it was) where I could took the tram to Sultanahmet. It was still too early to do my check in. After leaving my luggage at the hotel, I brought myself to go to Hagia Sophia. There was a long queue, but it didn’t stop me to see the beauty of the building. Hagia Sophia was a church since 360 until 1453. After Ottoman empire took over Turkey and surrounding area, the building became mosque, and it’s changed to Museum in 1935.
Hagia Sophia from out side
The building contains of ornaments and pictures of important features in two religions. I could see the big signs of Allah, Muhammad, Abu Bakar and many more decorated the walls. In the other sides, it shows the pictures of Jesus Christ, angels , some Christian’s ornament. No wondering, these beautiful building was a holy house for Islam and Christian.
Inside Hagia Sophia
Not far from Hagia Sophia, I found Mausoleum purposed to Sultan and his family. No need the entrance fee to enter this area. Sultan Murad III, Sultan Mustafa I, Sultan Ibrahim, Sultan Selim II, Sultan Mehmed III and their relatives are rested here. Every buildings consist of some sarcophagi with different numbers. The doors made by ebony woods, the walls are decorated by calligraphies and some holy words taken from Quran.
Mausoleoum, Istanbul, Turkey
I used this last opportunity for taking another pictures around Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia. I still could enjoy the performance of Sufi Dance at one of cafe.
Across the street, I went to the Basilica Cistern or known as well as Yerebatan Sarnic or Sunken Palace. It was built on 6th century during the reign of Byzantine Emperor Justinian purposed to Supply Water to Byzantine Palace primarily. In the backside of Cistern, I could find the head of Medusa in upside down to support the column. The columns constructed of marble, each of them has 9 meters of height. I felt a little bit scary once entering it. It was dark, the only lightings came from the red lights put along the columns’ lines.
The rest of the days, I spent the time by seeing the other sides of Istanbul. Using the service of Sightseeing bus easily found in Sultanahmet, I was going around city. Seeing the sea, Taksim (the new city of Istanbul), passing some monuments and important historical buildings. The most impressive thing is when I passed on the Bosphorus Bridge, knowing that I moved from one continent to other continent easily. In the evening, I had dinner in Alemdar Restaurant, enjoying the Turkish food and Belly dance performance.
Bosphorus Bridge during the night. The well known bridge connecting two continents in Istanbul. Europe in one side and Asia in the other side
Blue Mosque during the night
Times were passed so fast. It was already nine days, and I have to leave this beautiful city very soon. But there are many things and memories that will stay in my heart. There are no more words to describe how beautiful the country is. Amazing landscape, beautiful scenery, and very nice people. I really want to come back to this beautiful country. Hopefully, the chance will come again, someday. Good bye Istanbul. I left my heart here, with you. And one day, I’ll come back to pick it up.
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