Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Day 7 @ Hippo x Turkey < Blue Mosque . Basilica Cistern . Topkapi Palace >

Here comes the final blog post about my trip in Turkey.
It was an exhausted day because we had to fulfill the last three attractions in Istanbul before we flew off to Malaysia in the late evening.
Lucky that I felt so much relaxed instead of tired on the last day, that's probably because I could't wait to eat and taste the Malaysian food so badly!
If  you want to have an idea about the food in Turkey, you can visit the blog post here. :)


Blue Mosque is another famous historical mosque to visit in Istanbul.
It's a big mosque which was built from 1609 to 1616 and still widely used as a mosque everyday.


While visiting the mosque, be sure you wear an appropriate attire whereby no singlet, short pants and short skirts at all.
Besides, all ladies need to prepare a cover for the head; you can wear a long scarf like I did to wrap over your head. 


The mosque has a strict security check upon the entrance.
You are required to take off your shoes and put them in a plastic bag that provided at the entrance since this is part of Muslim tradition while entering the mosques.


This is how you look like after covered yourself and without the shoes look. #lol



The mosque is known as Blue Mosque because of the blue tiles surrounding the walls in the building.
It also known as the only mosque with 6 minerals in the world.


Check the visiting schedule before you plan your visit at Blue Mosque as it closes at each praying time for the Muslim prayers.
We arrived there at mid morning which just the right time for visit. 


It's very crowded inside the mosque since there is no entrance fees. 
However, you will feel peaceful and calm when you are inside the mosque because all visitors are required to remain quiet and cannot use camera flash.
Anyway, the mosque is pretty clean although it is popularly used as an active mosque.


Since this place still acts as a mosque, not a museum like the Saint Sophia; hence you are only allow to walk at the specific area (some areas are closed for the worship). 
I think spending about 30 minutes would be more than enough for looking up and taking pictures. 


Do not missed out the lovely Sultanahmet Park which lying between both Blue Mosque and Saint Sophia.
It's a good relaxing park for a short walk and also provides a beautiful view of the two famous architectures!


Here's the Saint Sophia that I visited on the 6th day.
You can visit the blog post of this museum by clicking the link here


Look at the stunning Blue Mosque that stand behind me! Beautiful!


In Istanbul, we walked a lot from one place to another place as all attractions stay pretty close to each other.
Plus, the traffic in the big city is always very busy, so we saved a lot of times by walking. 
After the walk at Sultanahmet Park, we continue our next attraction at Basilica Cistern.


Basilica Cistern is a big underground water reservoir among the public which was built to provide water to the city of Istanbul in the ancient times.
The huge place was constructed by using 336 marble columns.



It has a bit of haunted feeling as the whole place is very dark with some small lights all over the water. 
So, be careful with your steps!



Make sure you walk all the way to the end to see the two Medusa heads.
Both heads are supported by big columns with one head positioned upside down, and another one tilted to the side. 


The visit at Basilica Cistern makes me feel like I was in another world and times because of the atmosphere setup. 
Well, it's not easy to get a good shot inside the underground because it is too dark.
Thanks to our tour guide's advise for getting this best shot after all! #nyek



Topkapi Palace is the final destination before we headed to the airport.
It's the largest and oldest palace in Istanbul, which was also one of the major residences of the Ottoman Sultans for almost 400 years.
That's the main gate which they named it as Imperial Gate.



It's a very huge place whereby I think it's good to spend your time here for at least 2-3 hours.
The place is nicely surrounded by a garden and has divided into many sections such as courtyards, administrative, education, galleries, chambers, kitchen and so on.



It's good to read the full map to allow you to see the big picture before you start your long journey inside the palace.



This is the Gate of Felicity, located at the second courtyard, which used to hold the important ceremonies by the Sultans.



The Palace kitchen is on the right at the Gate of Felicity.
There are numerous Chinese porcelain, super big sized pots, kitchenware, and giant fireplace are displayed inside the huge kitchen.
Besides, the kitchen also showed the culinary culture that served for 400 years ago.



The tile works everywhere at the halls were beautifully made and surprisingly they all are still well preserved till now.




Likewise, the golden doors and windows inside the palace were still well maintained and shiny as they were after so many decades!



If you have enough time during your visit, you can queue for the famous treasury that lies at the third courtyard.
It's the Spoonmaker's Diamond which they said it's the world's biggest diamond.
I skipped this section as the queue was very long at anytime, so me and my parents choose to spend my time at the other courtyards for a more relaxing afternoon.



You will find the last courtyard is facing to the sea with beautiful view.
The public toilet and some cafes are all located around there.



The golden rooftop which stays somewhere at the Baghdad Kiosk.



For me, it's a kind of luxury place to visit because of the rich heritages from several decades.
It's definitely one interesting place to visit as you can use your imagination to imagine how luxury the life that the Ottoman Sultans had, and how the people lived and ran over the place in that time.



There are so much to share about the Topkapi Palace as it is too big to explore more and more.
And, I hope my pictures tell a good story of this place.



Me and my parents felt so grateful that we had created many good memories in Turkey finally!
Before departing to Turkey, everyone told us it is not safe to travel there due to it's unstable condition, thus we felt so thankful that our trip was smooth with no mischief in any how. 
It was definitely a spiritual experience for me to see and learn so much history at this lovely country.
Honestly, I wish to travel to the beautiful Istanbul again in future as I believe there are still so much for me to explore! 



A big thanks to our driver for the 8 days driving around Turkey.
Thanks for ensuring the safe and comfortable journey for us!



And a big applause to our professional tour guide, Mete who has extensive knowledge and history background and was willing to share all he knows with us.
What a treat to have him as our tour guide with his fluent English explanation and his funny personality!



Last but not least, end the final post with my outfit of today:
Inner sweater: Korea
Outer: Korea
Jeans: Bangkok
Handbag: Grand Bazaar, Turkey
Boots: TaoBao

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