Tag Archives: wondrous place

Day 7: My Adventures in Istanbul

Day 7 was the last day for sunshine and beach before coming back to Paris. Our friends took us to a beach and we watched the interesting people, quaint boats and striking colours.

It’s so great to catch some last minute sun before coming back to the routine of work. Don’t get me wrong, it is great to be back now!

This Turkish pop song was played everywhere when I was in Istanbul.

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Day 6: My Adventures in Istanbul

Day 6 was a lazy day of wandering and observing. Below you can see the Turkish evil eye set in concrete. It is designed to protect you. Like Ganesha in India I am guessing.

What I would do for a plate of this right now…

In Istanbul there are cats everywhere. They keep the rat problem under wraps, and give the city a friendly atmosphere.

A Gypsy busker family.

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Day 5: My Adventures in Istanbul

The architecture of Istanbul makes for most of its charm. The architecture in this magnificent city depicts a large mixture of structures which reflect the many influences that have made an indelible mark in all districts of the city. The ancient part of the city (the historic peninsula) is still partially surrounded by the Walls of Constantinople, erected in 5th century (just a little bit old!) AD by the Emperor Theodosius II to protect the city from invasion. The architecture inside the city proper contains buildings, statues, and functional constructions which came from Byzantine, Ottoman, and modern Turkish sources. The city has many architecturally significant entities. Throughout its long history, Istanbul has acquired a reputation for being a cultural and ethnic melting pot. It really feels like the point where the East meets the West. Such a gorgeous combination. As a result, there are many historical mosques, churches, synagogues, palaces, castles and towers to visit in the city.

I just love the mosaïques, the gold arabic script, and the stone.

Day 5 was a day of exploring the Grand Bazaar, the Spice Bazaar and the surrounding areas. Bear with me, I got very camera happy and took lots of photos.

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Day 4: My Adventures in Istanbul

The fun continues! On my fourth day I walked around the “Asian” side, the side that is less modern, more traditional, and where you can find all the monumental mosques. This side of Istanbul has so much history to offer, and being Australian, where the history is relatively modern, makes me feel like I am walking in Disneyland, or in a documentary.

The freshly squeezed Pomegranite juice is just incredible, and very tart!

View over the water.

And of course, Turkish coffee, my favourite!

Gosh, how am I going to be able to go back home after seeing all this? I could stay here another month and explore because there is just so much to see!

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Day 3: My Adventures in Istanbul

Burgazada is one of the Princes’ Islands. It is pure magic. You can only access it by boat, and there are no cars on this island, just bikes and horse and buggy.

It is officially a neighbourhood in the Adalar district of Istanbul. Burgaz is a common setting and even a major theme for writer Sait Faik Abasiyanik, where he also lived. The island consists of a single hill 2 kilometres across.

There are not many tourists here, so it’s perfect for a lazy restful afternoon.

What do you think?

There are so many photos to come- so stay tuned! :)

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Day 2: My Adventures in Istanbul

Today I had a wild day in the Grand Bazaar. It is such an experience! On my way, I walked through the winding streets down towards the water and Galata bridge.

The view of the sea is just a teaser of what is to come.

I discovered a wonderful modern Turkish café called Mavra Galata. Please go there if ever in Istanbul!

The architecture of Istanbul is breathtaking. There are no words… the water sparkles, the sun beats down, and the city is alive.

All the local produce. It makes me want to live here and eat olives for breakfast.

The Grand Bazaar is both spectacular and overwhelming at the same time. There is so much to see. Make sure you bargain with the sellers!

What a day! Tomorrow I am off to Princes’ Islands. Cannot wait!

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Day 1: My adventures in Istanbul

After arriving in Istanbul very late last night (or should I say very early this morning) I quickly got into the swing of things this morning. This city is so alive, it’s pulsing, the vibe is wonderful.

I am as in love with this city as I was in India. Uh oh, another love affair.

What a better way to kick off my week of solo-traveling than a strong Turkish coffee?!

And breakfast of course. Their breakfast is just as I like it: savoury and not too heavy.

I walked around the lush winding streets that branch off the main street of Taksim (Istiklal Caddesi). The café scene is really on the mark, Turkish meets Europe, and they offer great simple menus.

I didn’t expect to come across so many vintage shops. The tiles make me want to have my bathroom inspired by a mosque.

Just off the main road mentioned above I came across two young fellows selling muscles stuffed with rice served with lemon juice. Words do not describe. DELICIOUS.

They were so friendly too!

If you haven’t had Turkish coffee before, here is a simple explanation: Roasted and then finely ground coffee beans are boiled in a bronze pot and served in a small cup where the beans are allowed to settle. Sugar is added to taste. This method of serving coffee is found in the Middle East, North Africa, and Turkey of course.

Cats are everywhere. I was told that they don’t get rid of them because they kill all the rats. Cats kill the rats. That rhymes.

I walked past this family and asked to take a photo of them because I thought they looked so wonderful. They then invited me for tea (called chai) and home-made walnut baklava. What an experience!

It may be full of sugar but hell, we only live once!

Turkish men dancing in the street.

Pickles as a side dish with my kebab for dinner.

And to finish off my night before catching my z’s, some more tea!

Tomorrow I have another big day, so keep tuned! :)

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Entre la mer et la montagne il y a Bastia.

Throughout history, Bastia was a rich city thanks to its geographical situation, being between the mountains and the water. For many centuries it was a wealthy city. The people of Bastia saw the city destroyed during WWII but its economic importance for Corsica is still high.

Walking around Bastia gave me a great idea of the previous glory and wealth of Bastia. A lot of the apartments need renovating. It feels like an old world enchanted city.

The presence and respect of Napoleon is also very strong, even after all these years.

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Saint Florent, where all the million euro yachts meet.

Saint Florent would be the Corsican version of Saint Tropez. It is wealthy, a display of the rich in their expensive attire and million-euro yachts. Despite this, it still remains more authentic, less “bling-bling”, and the wilderness is preserved. The Corsican’s sure know how to protect their wild island.

Below friends, is the Corsican flag. It was adopted by General of the Nation Pasquale di Paoli  in 1755 and was based on a traditional flag used previously. It portrays a Moor’s Head in black wearing a white bandana above his eyes on a white background.

Since the 11th century, the Moor’s Head has been a symbol of an African’s Head. The Moor was originally a female Moor blindfolded and wearing a necklace made of beads. No use is attested prior to 1736, when it was used by both sides during the struggle for independence.

In 1760, Genera Pasquale Paoli ordered the necklace to be removed from the head and the blindfold raised. His reason, reported by his biographers, was “Les Corses veulent y voir clair. La liberté doit marcher au flambeau de la philosophie. Ne dirait-on pas que nous craignons la lumière ?” (roughly translated: “The Corsicans want to see clearly. Freedom must walk by the torch of philosophy. Won’t they say that we fear the light?”) Later the blindfold was changed to a headband.

This pretty much sums up the Corsican mentality.

I spoke to a Corsican man and he told me that the Moor’s head was a man from Morocco.

Wonderful fresh pasta filled with typical Corsica cheese “brousse”.

If you have not yet been to Corsica, put it on your list of things to do next Summer!

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A grilled vegetable salad in Erbalunga.

Erbalunga, which is in the “Cap Corse” region of Corsica stole my heart. It feels enchanted. You really can imagine Napoleon in these parts of the world. To make things even more magical, the weather was perfect.

Our week in Corsica followed the coast. We went from town to town, each as charming as the next.

In Corsica most of the houses are covered in some kind of vine.

How sweet is the life of this Corsican cat?

The grilled salad was so fresh, and was a perfect accompagnement to the sun. The feature of the salad was the crumb fried mozarella. I am going to teach myself how to do it to recreate this mind-blowing salad.

My lovely little friend Zoé. She had a hot goat’s cheese salad.

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