We loved our recent trip to Istanbul and could have spent several weeks; checking out churches, cruising between continents or shopping up a storm. The city successfully straddles the Asia Europe vibe – street vendors, sunshine and century old buildings mixed in with a smidge of crazy. Here are our five favourite Istanbul attractions and a couple we thought were over-rated.
Posts from the ‘Asia’ Category
It’s hot, it’s crowded and like most of Istanbul, it’s ancient. I hold tight to my handbag whilst trying to navigate the narrow winding streets, crammed with tourists, touts and busy Turkish housewives.
As 5:30am approaches, darkness descends upon the Cove. The upbeat atmosphere during the night is now somewhat sombre and the eerie silence is broken only by the sound of the waves lapping on the shore. A Karanga begins. The haunting sound of her voice rings out across the Cove and tears start to roll down my cheeks. 97 years ago in this very spot; thousands of men lost their lives and now thousands are remembering their sacrifices.
On April 25th thousands of Australians and New Zealanders remember those who were killed at war and honour those who returned. In particular, we remember the ANZACs (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) who fought at Gallipoli during WWI. We mark the anniversary of their bravery and sacrifice with dawn services, parades and memorials nationwide. This year we remembered them at Gallipoli.
The 16th century Sultan Ahmet Mosque (or Blue Mosque) is an awe-inspiring culmination of two different centuries, the Ottoman and the Byzantine Empires and is believed to be the last great mosque of the classical period. Despite there being more than three thousand mosques in Istanbul, the Blue Mosque dominates the cities skyline with it’s six spires (or minarets).
How will you survive London’s winter? Don’t you know it gets really cold there? Oh the Winters in London are so miserable…blah blah blah. The weather people keep telling me it’s been quite a mild winter, but even so; it’s still nothing like spending it in the deep freeze I call South Korea and now I have the stats to prove it.
South Korea; we had a bit of a love hate relationship and we often wondered if we’d made the right decision not renewing our contracts for another year. This past weekend we took the opportunity to stop over for a couple of days in the place we called home for 12 months and found ourselves battling a mixed bag of emotions.
When I suggested meeting our friend Sarah at Embankment on Saturday I hadn’t given the Thames Festival a second thought. However failing to find a pub that wasn’t overflowing with tourists or crazy expensive we soon found ourselves on the banks of the Thames and right in the thick of this year’s festival.
There has been A LOT of media coverage concerning expat adventures gone wrong in Dubai and the UAE. Everyone remembers the incident with the sex on the beach couple and more recently another couple were jailed for embracing in a restaurant. When more than seventy percent of the population are expats it’s only natural that some people are going to end up on the wrong side of the cultural etiquette line. Things like inappropriate clothing, getting frisky in public and drunken behaviour can land you in jail so it’s best to abide by some simple dos and don’ts. Read more