After months of debate about the trip destination, Istanbul sealed the deal. This city by the Bosphorus has been on my list for ages. And i’m über excited to go. Actually I can not really imagined how the city is going to be like. Been browsing here and there (on Instagram actually..LOL) but it seems like each photo tells a different story.
I stayed in a charming victorian style hotel in the Old Town, which is only 10 minutes walk away from the Sultanahmet Square. After settling in, I didn’t waste anytime & went straight to explore this part of the city.
Walking the streets of Istanbul is quite easy to maneuver. The roads are pedestrian friendly and has many signs, especially for tourist destinations. After around 5 minutes going up the hill-type road, I enter the Arasta Bazaar. The bazaar is not that big, only 1 hallway with shops on the left & right but can be a good option for late minute shopping. At the end of the road, I took a left and arrived in the square.
The Blue Mosque caught my eyes first. The huge mosque got its name because of its blueish interior. The complex is divided into a functioning mosque & the other is the tourist side. Visitors needs to put their shoes in a plastic bag when entering the mosque, and also for women are obliged to be covered (you can borrow 2 pieces of garments to be used for head veil & to cover the legs). In the inside, the ceiling is amazing. The interior was lit up with low hanging chandelier which give it a more magical feel to it.
After the short visit, I went out and wander to the center of the square. I can smell the aroma of roasted chestnut filling the wintery air. In all sides of the square, vendors are lining up with their red cart selling everything from chestnut to corn on the cob to simit with nutella. People are also queueing up to get some hot food, including me who is eager to get my hands on some hot food.