Friday, January 13, 2012

Istanbul, Turkey

After a couple of nights and a full day at sea, we arrived at Istanbul, a city I'm visiting for the first time. I really wanted to do a 12 day land tour of Turkey instead of this cruise but my wife and other frequent travel companions convinced me that it is better to just go on a cruise because it is less physically demanding than a land tour. I know how unpleasant it is to pack and unpack every day and sit on a bus for long hours but you see a lot more of the places you are visiting. I think I'll try solo travel again - it is so liberating and free from the constraint of conveniences.

I've never tried the juice of this fruit yet but I will.


I like seeing the locals in their native dress.


Bread cart open for business



 
An ice cold slice of watermelon on a hot day was a childhood delight.


Roasted corn fresh from the grill is a  hard to beat street food for me.


Inside one of the mosques we visited


Looks yummy!
          


                   

That's my wife leading the way to a souvenir shop!


  
Bosphorus Strait connects the Black Sea to the Sea of Marmara and splits Turkey between Asia and Europe.

                                     
Our lunch stop


One of the entrances to the Grand Bazaar











This guy was quick enough to pull his cart out of the way of the ambulance. I wonder why vendors are allowed to ply their trade in this narrow street.


Night shot from our ship


Our ship stayed for two days at this particular stop.


28 comments:

Reena said...

Wow, Istanbul!!! i would love to see Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque someday. You're so luck!

George said...

I think I understand why you would want to take a land tour, but I've found the convenience of a cruise to be pretty remarkable. But it's hard to get that ship inland! I thoroughly enjoyed your pictures of Isanbul.

sheng said...

Istanbul! I am sure you and your wife enjoyed the cruise better. What you will get when you get a land tour to that beautiful place is backache. Do not give yourself than inconvenience most especially if you're with the wife.

Listen to wives complain and you will, for sure, give in to what she wants.

bertn said...

Reena, you'll see these places. You have youth and the luxury of time on your side.

George, cruising is very relaxing but I miss the very essence of travel - a journey into an adventure of unpredictability.

bertN said...

sheng, we do enjoy cruising more than land touring but like George said, "It is hard to get that ship inland!" LOL.

More often than not, I give in to my wife's wants...iba na talaga yung among tunay.

docgelo said...

love your night shots, bert!
post card perfect yung 3rd to the last shot. ang husay!

with all fascinating souvenir items you can find in turkey, i wonder what loots your wife brought home.

ps: thanks for taking us to turkey without the hassle of getting a visa (this is one of the reasons why i LOVE blogging and blog hopping. if i may share a bit, one of my detractors -colleague at that stated that i am just BRAGGING with my blogging. i cannot reckon the fact how those two words became synonyms. educate me, bert!)

bertN said...

docgelo, tsamba yung shot na 'yan.

I usually stay as far away from my wife as I could when she is shopping. Baka ako ang pagbayarin.

Don't waste your time with your detractors. Just do your things and live your life the way you want to.

RJ said...

I miss 'travelling with you' BertN! Happy New Year po!

Hmmm, grilled corn and the huge walter melons; have you tried any Turkish dish during your visit?

The night shot from your ship is so beautiful! o",)

Photo Cache said...

I want to do both the cruise and the land tour :)

Oh what lovely sights.

bertN said...

RJ, I was able to try some Turkish dishes but not the dish I really hoped for LOL.

Photo Cache, do both if you can. I think it is worth it. If I have the time and money for an extended land tour, I'll come back. BUT there is still the rest of the world to see and time is no longer a luxury I can easily afford at my age. Do all your travels now until you can't.

Pinay Travel Junkie said...

Oh WOW! We'd love to include Turkey in our RTW trip, but we're too lazy to take care of the visa thing :(

bertN said...

I know the feeling. I've cancelled many trips because of visa problems/fees and the unreasonable requirements. How do you justify paying an arm and a leg for a day or two days visit? You are out of your rocker if you go for it. I've been out of my rocker - HELP!

Rizalenio said...

I spotted old hulk hogan infront of grand bazaar. :)

Pakwan at grilled mais sa Istanbul - wow! I love the night photos.

bertN said...

Rizalenio, iba lang ang setting pero maski na saan pareho rin ang lasa ng mga pakwan at inihaw na mais LOL.

bing said...

i agree with docgelo. the night shots are very nice but the days shots are nice as well. postcards - pwedeng sideline! ha ha

that shot with the watermelon is nice, too, though it is not my favorite fruit. what was that fruit in the first pic?

bertN said...

bing, I think the fruit is called pomegranate.

Tito Eric said...

You are living the life, bertN! Wonderful ... and it is reflected on your photographs! Kudos!

bertN said...

Tito Eric, thanks for dropping by.

rob said...

.. one of my dream destinations! the first time i've tried eating pomegranates, i had to research in the net how to eat it! :D

bertN said...

I didn't even know this fruit existed until I ran into it in Israel. Now, I even find them in our local Asian groceries....maski na fresh buko mayroon din sila LOL.

Missy said...

What cruise did you take? iba na talaga ang pensionado hehehe, but I think it's worth it. Dapat nga ganyan na lang kami pag retire, no worries ;-) I wish I could cruise again but I don't think I'll have a time for that now ;-) The pomegrenate ay Granada yan sa tagalog, I don't even know how to eat that too hehehe. I feel na mabait kang asawa Ka Bert hehehe, yukosa lol

bertN said...

It's an 11 Days Eastern Mediterranean cruise that departs from Civitavecchia, near Rome. I didn't know pomegrenate is called "granada" in Tagalog.

The Nomadic Pinoy said...

I am dying to get back to Istanbul Bert! Turkey was officially the first country I visited for leisure.

I'm one with you on traveling solo - you do get the freedom to choose whatever you like to do without having to worry on anyone else. I just can't imagine you staying in a hostel though lol!

Christian | Lakad Pilipinas said...

the buildings there look very star wars episode 1 :P

bertn said...

The Nomadic Pinoy, hindi ba talagang very liberating ang solo travel? I may not have stayed in hostels (I still want to give it a shot) but I was a veteran of flea- bugged hotels and motels. Actually, I prefer them to all these fancy star-studded bs, but my "old lady" said it is about time to pamper ourselves or I can just travel by myself until I drop dead LOL. Not a bad idea, but don't tell my wife or I will be dead meat LOL.

Christian, I could not really tell. Thanks for dropping by.

Christian | Lakad Pilipinas said...

On the second photo, the one with the tall spires reminds me of the buildings in Amidala's world :)

blissfulguro said...

ang sarap kumain grabe! i love street foods :)

dodong flores said...

Wow, by just looking at the photos, it's like we are already walking side-by-side with you on this trip. The poor tour bus driver got his own cabin in the baggage compartment :D