I'm back! Did you miss me? :D I'm kicking off with a holiday post immediately, simply because our belgian weather hasn't allowed me to take proper outfit photos yet since I'm back. Boo!I'll just start at the beginning of our trip: Istanbul! I must say I was looking most forward to this part of the holiday, and I wasn't disappointed. It's a vibrant city that is standing with one foot in Europe and the other one in Asia. Thanks to its geographical position, it has been a cultural and historical center for centuries, and this has left its mark throughout the city: mosques, palaces, churches, old markets etc. We could easily have stayed a few days longer because we haven't seen half of it yet. Anyway, less talk & more pictures! I took over a thousand photos (again), so I made a small selection - otherwise I'd still be talking about this holiday next year :D Enjoy!
|We arrived in the late afternoon, so we decided to start with a boat tour on the Bosphorus river.|
|The Sultanahmet Mosque or Blue Mosque, one of the biggest mosques in Istanbul.|
|Topkapı Palace, built during the 15th century for the Ottoman sultan and his harem.|
|Quite a few Marilyn moments there!|
|Rüstempaşa Mosque: one of the smaller mosques in Istanbul, but equally magnificent! For an Arabic and Islam student like me, this city was like heaven :D|
|Non-muslims always had to cover up their head and legs, out of respect.|
|The famous Pera Palace hotel: this is where the Orient Express travellers spent the night!|
|The Chora church, filled with gold mosaics.|
|of course we had to have the typical Turkish dürüm for lunch!|
Of course I saved the best for last: shopping! Istanbul has two big 'bazaars': the Egyptian bazaar, where you could get fresh spices, tea and stuff, and the Big Bazaar or Kapalıçarşı where you could get almost everything: ceramics, cashmere scarfs, jewellery, leather goods, tea sets etc. It's an adventure to walk through this Bazaar: not only do you get lost very quickly, but the merchants are constantly trying to get you to buy something ("Have a look!" "Special price for you!") and as a red-haired girl, I was the target of shoutings like "Hi lady, very nice" "Are you from paradise?" and got called Lady Gaga, Kylie Minogue, Shakira,.. :D Definitely a boost for your ego, haha! I bought a handpainted mug and some bowls, I'll show them in another post.
|When I heard one of the biggest shopping malls of Europe is in Istanbul, I had to go there! I know it's kinda stupid to go to Zara in Turkey, but they had a huge store with most sizes still available (trying to get a popular item in a size 36 during the sales, it's normally almost impossible) and good sales! I scored a mint sweater for less than 10 euros. I wanted to buy the entire store (as usual) but my wallet and my already heavily loaded suitcase didn't allow me :D|