A day in Istanbul

luni, 15 februarie 2010

Sunday, 8 AM. I wake up, wash my teeth and go on beach. Lovely ... the sun was up in the sky already and the sea had some waves. I walked along the sunny beach for half an hour and then I head back to the hotel for the breakfast.

After the breakfast me and my colleague Feri planed a trip to Istanbul, so around 11:30 we were already in the big  city. We parked the car in a parking lot near Bosporus and our next target was Hagia Sophia. To get there we passed through a nice park:

 

After a 10 minute walk we got to our first visiting point - Hagia Sophia
 
The entrance fee is 20 Lira which is around 10 euros, but the experience is worth the price. It's amazing how two cultures met in the same church. There are orthodox images as well as muslim.

 
  
After Hagia Sophia, next stop was the blue mosque which is face to face with the first one.
We could not get in in this one because it was closed for praying. So we continued our way to the Grand Bazaar.
Most of the stores in Bazaar were closed, but where it was opened it was very crowded and noisy. I liked the part with the stores with turkish delight and condiments. I even bought some to have home. I was happy to find mint since in Romania is very hard to find. It was nice that the salesmen even gave us some turkish delight to taste.
It was late so we went to a restaurant to eat. After we payed 8 lira extra for bread that we did not ate and water that we did not drink and service ... we got back home.
It was a nice way to spend our sunday but it was also a very tiring one.

Kumburgaz beach

luni, 8 februarie 2010

Because it's the cold season for most of my readers, I thought why not make you jealous ?! Well, here it's also the cold season, it's raining, it's foggy, it also snowed, but ... it was a beautiful Saturday morning on 6th of February 2010. I waked up at 7 AM, as I usually do here because the breakfast is served at that hour. And, for my surprise, the sun was rising up on  the sky. So, after the breakfast, I took my camera and went on the beach. The view is not so spectacular, but I like how the light lights the still water. So, ladies and gentlemen, may I present you the Marmara Sea ...
This morning I realized that if the horizon is clear of clouds you can see the mountains on the other part of the sea ... simply beautiful. I think I am lucky that I am here in a business trip and I live in a hotel at the sea ... it's really  nice and relaxing to hear the sea every night and every morning. To bad that the beach is not so clean of garbage.

A horrible flight to Turkey

marți, 2 februarie 2010

So... yesterday afternoon I begun my trip to Istanbul.All nice till I got to the airport. At 14:15 I had my flight from Timisoara to Bucharest. An 2 hours later the one from Bucharest till Istanbul. The first flight was delayed with almost 45 minutes, but luckily I had time to catch the second one. After a calm flight above Romania's Carpathian Mountains,  we arrived safely on Otopeni Airport. The flight was internal so I had to go all the way to the other part of the long building to find the international gates. I run on the corridors asking people and finally I arrived at gate number 6 were to flight attendees said: 'The Istanbul flight was moved downstairs' .... Cool ... now I have to find the new gate. I run down on the stairs and there it was... flight to Istanbul. Just 3 minutes before boarding. Ok, so I got in the plane and next to me was a nice lady with 2 beautiful girls and one little boy flying to Australia ... they were making 2 stops till destination. All was ok till we approach to Istanbul. There was a storm above Black sea and I got plane sick ... it was horrible. All I wanted then was that the plain stops, lands ... but... finally ... after a 40 minutes trip above Istanbul, we got the permission to land. I threw up at destination but everything was fine in the end. The... I run to get my baggage because Cata was already waiting for me for an hour when I arrived at the passport booth... and it was full ... I staid there almost half an hour. Luckily my baggage arrived also in the same plane with me. And in the end all was fine. But... in three weeks I have to go back so I hope I won't have this bad experience again. 
Oh yeah ... did I tell you that I was traveling with Tarom company? :D