Monday, April 21, 2014

~ 10 days in Turki (Pt.8) ~

~ 7th day ~
we started our journey fr Ankara to Istanbul after breakfast. by d way, d name of d hotel where we stayed for a night in Ankara is Turist hotel. we were supposed to overnight in Bolu d night before but there's a change of plan. so, we stayed in Ankara. if u want 2imagine how Ankara looks like, just imagine Putrajaya. Ankara adalah cm pusat pentadbiran kt Putrajaya where ada byk offices kt situ.

it's quite far from Ankara to Istanbul. we passed Bolu on our way there. our captain took us to Istanbul using a different route from d one normally used to travel from Ankara to Istanbul simply because of the view. as usual, we stopped at several places (R&R) for toilet break and at some places kt tepi jln sbb nk amik gmbr. owhhh, cantikkkkk!!!!

~ keychain Istanbul for my bag & jajan utk mkn dlm bus ~
route yg kitrg lalu tu is dkt kwsn tinggi. jadinye, can see d connecting highway & also kmpg2 kecik kt kwsn tanah rendah.
~ sayuuuuup kt blkg tu is d connecting highway ~
~ itu kwsn kmpg2 ~
we stopped for lunch at another R&R. ms ni dh terer dh cmne nk bg lentil soup sedap. dh everyday mkn kot... & it's being served during every meal, drpd xpandai nk bg sedap smpi dh jd pandai dh, hahaha.
~ yg ada arrow pink tu rs dia cm murtabak sket, or roti canai. that's delicious ~
our guide took d opportunity dgn distance yg stil jauh to get everyone to introduce themselves. dh dkt nk abis trip pn, dh jd geng sesame kitrg pn, baruuuuu ler nk wt proper introduction, hehehe. xpelah. there were 18 of us, majority adalah org2 muda seangkatan je cm kitrg (i still muda ye, hahaha), tp ada jugak 2families in d group.
finally, we arrived in Istanbul dh ptg2, so d traffic was quite bad. we first went to Miniaturk. this is like LEGOLAND kt Johor. this park has miniatures of bangunan2/tmpt2 famous dlm Turki.

we prayed Maghrib at Eyup Sultan Mosque. it's a historical mosque where u'll find d tomb of Abu Ayyub al-Ansari and other companions here. as it was near Maghrib by d time we arrived at d mosque, we decided solat berjemaah je skali kt masjid ni. senang.
dinner time.... we went to have fish for dinner. yummy!!! our guide brought us to one seafood restaurant. ms dpt sotong gorg tepung, mcm kenikmatan abadi. lagi2 cicah dgn sos cili McD yg 1 of our grp members bw. dpt packs of sos cili McD, masing2 mmg muka bhgia, hahahaha. amboi, selera!!!
~ lentil soup & salad... as usual ~

~ one cherry drink for me ~

~ ikaaaaannnn...kenikmatan ~
if u r in turki, they'll give u chilli flakes kalo anda mahu lbh spicy kpd food anda. dats y we bring our own sos cili, or sos nandos (I brought this with me during this trip), or sambal kentang with ikan bilis.
we checked in to our hotel - Buyuk Keban Hotel - after dinner. it's our 2nd nite in Istanbul (1st nite ms sampai fr KL aritu). d location is strategic as it's located not far from a mosque, shops and byk penjual di jalanan ms malam2. sempat la jugak singgah tgk apa yg dijual kt tepi2 jln tu.

if I recall correctly, "bersiar2" dpn hotel tu arnd pukul 10lbh or 11 mcmtu...waktu Turki. with d 5 hours time difference, dat's waaaayyyyy past midnight kt Msia, hahaha.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

~ 10 days in Turki (Pt.7) ~

- 6th day -
we woke up early, showered and get ready because it's d day to go for our hot air balloon ride. yeayyyy!!! yeay sbb nk naik hot air balloon, tp mndi pukul 4pg mcm nk nanges. sejuknyeeee!!! =( at 5am, the van from the hot air balloon operator fetched us from our hotel. they provided breakfast for us (sandwich), which is to me a good start to ensure that everyone hv enough energy during the ride. as for me, a breakfast person, I can never say no to the sandwich =)
we had to wake up as early as 4am and leave the hotel at 5am because d plan is to see d sun rises while riding the balloon. the fees is USD200 per person & it's worth it. d view from up there Subhanallah, soooooo beautiful, priceless...lagi2 ms tepat2 matahari tgh nk naik.
~ preparing for the ride. this is quite cold, ya ~

view from up there

we were up there for about 45 minutes and landed safely with big smile on our face. i hv frens who have fear of heights but never want to stop themselves from having this amazing experience. so i think everyone who went for the balloon ride with me would agree that we had great time together.
~ our happy faces. yippieeeee!!! ~
once landed, it's time for a small celebration. d organizer provided some refreshment for us - juice and cookies. and then, it's time for the certificate giving ceremony, yeayyy! yes, u'll get a certificate for being able to (overcome ur fear and) ride the hot air balloon. and that's another big smile on d face, hahaha.
we went back to d hotel, had our breakfast, packed our things and checked out from d hotel (again). d next stop... okay, i can't recall d name of d place where we stopped for photo taking, but it's still in Cappadocia. it's d place where d different shapes and sizes of stones are around us (as what we saw fr up there while riding d balloon). as i mentioned in d previous entry, d shapes and sizes of the stones show how great d power of Allah is. this is something that makes me reaffirm my belief that there's no greater power than Him.
next, we went to d carpet factory where they showed us how carpets are made. we listened to very detail explanation on how d threads are made, how colours are given for d threads, how they get d thread from ulat sutera, sampai la kpd siap satu carpet. to get d colours, sometimes they use kulit bawang (utk dpt colour light red), pomegranate (utk dpt deep red), & various other techniques and sources 2get d right colour. ada tu yg d natural colour from d sheep skin itself (ni utk wool la). finally, it's time to shop, hahaha. there were many sales rep to accompany us. we just had to request for help, informed them of our budget, negotiate (jgn lupa ni) & beli.... kalau nk tgk2 je pn no problem, takde kena byr pn kalo jst nk tgk, ngehehehe.
for lunch, we went to a restaurant that's emmm... in a cave. yepppp! it's in a cave. d name of d restaurant - Uranos & Sarikaya. it has beautiful interior & is actually big & d ceiling is high. basically xkn buat rs claustrophobic. dh nma pn restaurant kaaaan, xkn la nk sempit kot. toilet pn cantik. mmg dlm gua, tp cantik, hehehe.
~ interior kt dinding... Mevlana, Mevlana ~
~ our food selections - chicken, beef or fish ~
we continued after lunch to Salt Lake, another tourist attraction. u'll find souvenir shops as well as salt lake products' shop here. I'm not too sure about the souvenirs, but as for the salt lake products, those are fixed price.
it's quite cold at this place, actually (*ke, i je yg mmg sejuk allllllll d time?). i made a mistake of getting myself Cornetto, sbb teringin nk mkn smthg (feeling2 cm cool je kalo dpt mkn icecream kt negara sejuk). lpstu mulut cm nk beku sbb jd double  sejuk. nsb baik de kedai jual drinks, so mengorder la hot chocolate kt kedai tu. hahahah...pengajarannye - jgn rs cool mkn icecream kt tmpt sejuk (*blush, blush*).
that was our last stop for the day, before we headed to our hotel at Ankara. by d time we reached Ankara, it was already night. we had an early start on that day (bgn kul 4am sbb nk naik hot air balloon), so a very good night sleep was what we needed. but others had plan to go out to nearby places before we leave d hotel d next morning to our next destination. well, as for me, tidur adalah lbh diutamakan, so tidak la mengikut mereka2 berjln2, even though it's still early.
~ it's obvious that i need my sleep, hahaha ~
d next day, ....... hehehehe... i'll continue in d next entry.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

~ 10 days in Turki (Pt.6) ~

- 5th day -

Anamas Hotel Turkey where we stayed the night before is actually a hotel next to a university (Seljuk University). the scenery mmg cntk, the room is quite big. bayangkan students yg amik course kt Seljuk University tu everyday tgk scenery cntk smbl study, sure score memanjang la heh =)
we headed to Mevlana Museum after breakfast and reached there around 10.15 am. it's the mausoleum of Jalaluddin Rumi (better known as Rumi). we entered through Chelebiyan Gate and before entering the building to see the tomb, we were required to bungkus our shoes with plastic. take note, no photo taking inside ya.

while inside, apart from the tomb, there are also examples of Quran being displayed. drpd yg besar, kpd yg kecik. u'll be amazed with the evolution of the writing of Quran. outside, there are other rooms that u can explore, cnthnye bilik yg tnjk the tools used to write Quran. dh settle tgk the exhibition, there's a souvenir shop utk nk membeli2 apa2 yg ptt. and also a tea shop where u'll get free hot tea.
next, we headed to Cappadocia where we first stopped to see the Pigeon Valley. u'll see many pigeons flying and masuk dlm their houses yg mcm lubang dlm batuan tu. Subhanallah. pandai sggh burung2 tu.
and we went to see "the three sisters" (that's what our guide told us).
the "three sisters" adalah 3 batu tinggi & ada bulat2 kt atas tu
and we stopped by to see other amazing creations of Allah. semua batuan ni adalah kuasa Allah, how can I not be amazed by it.
finally, we went to see clay making at one clay workshop. it was said that suatu ketika, kalau sorg lelaki nk kawen dgn sorg pompn, the girl's father akn suruh d guy utk buat bekas (pot) from clay. the girl's father akn buat inspection whether tutup pot matches dgn badan pot tu. kalau match, br leh kawen. (sure si gadis berdebar2 masa bapak dia nk buat inspection, hehehehe).
first, we went to see how a pot was made from clay. from what I can see, it's not an easy process. then we listened to the stages dr mula2 clay siap, siap bakar, smpi la proses coloring complete. next, we went to see how the artists color the designs on each bekas based on their creativity. semua clay yg dh siap mmg cntk, ada yg glow in the dark. rambang mata menengok sbb cntk sgt. hasil2 yg dh siap were displayed at several showrooms. to protect the intellectual property and creative works that have been completed, we were not allowed to take photographs at these showrooms, except at one showroom that displays the final products of the students. hasil kerja students pn dh cntk, apatah lg hasil kerja yg pro, kn?

utk menjaga intellectual property, I'm just showing u 3 of what I've seen dlm showroom yg leh amik gmbr ni. yg lain2 designs pn cntkkk!!! seriously rambang mata weh. they gave us discounts for whatever purchase we made (sma mcm factory outlet yg I beli shawls tu). sape nk beli, boleh mntk nego price lg dgn salesperson. kalo ko baik2 dgn salesperson, he/she will lower the price a bit more. I bought some from this showroom & walaupn I x pndi nego hrga kt Msia, tetiba I get slightly lower price for my purchase here =) Alhamdulillah, rezki namanye.
we ended our activity for the day dgn checked in to the hotel. next day nk kna bgn awal sbb ada lg interesting activity di pagi hari. i'll tell u in d next entry.
.bye for now.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

~ 10 days in Turki (Pt.5) ~

- 4th day -

oh ya, I didn't tell u in d previous entry that we checked in to Ayapam Hotel during our 3rd night in Turki. the room here is quite spacious, with nice interior decoration. feeling satisfied, hehehehe.
as usual, we checked out from the hotel after breakfast to continue our journey in Turki. our 1st stop for the day is Pamukkale Natural Park, just to take pictures.

we then continued to another factory outlet that sells variety of things, from clothings (shawls, dress, jackets, shoes, bags, etc2), to household items such as kitchen towels, bedsheet and comforter set, pillow, bathrobe, etc2... all with good quality and affordable price (I guess its affordable considering that we got 20% discount for every purchase we make, hehehe). at the end, I purchased two silk shawls for my mom and sister, which I think is quite reasonable. diri sndiri blom ada konfiden nk pki shawl, so mmg xbeli utk diri sndiri.
next, we continued our journey to have our lunch. along the way, we made several stops for toilet break and taking pictures. each time our captain stopped at a good place for toilet break, we couldn't stop ourselves from wondering in and out of the shops available at the R&R. almost always we exceeded the 20minutes given by our guide for toilet break simply because we continued our "shopping" at these smaller shops & some ended up having another tea break. yeah, we were flexible...very flexible, hahahaha.
~ food = happiness ~
for lunch, we had pizza as the main dish. kau dh mkn roti ms toilet break, lpstu masuk pizza lg...haihhhh bolat la pipi heh. first, they served the appetizer and as usual we got soup, bread, and salad. this time, different kind of soup (bkn lentil soup lg), colour mcm tomato soup tp ada mcm meehun kt dlm soup tu. yg pntg, boleh telan la. then they served pizza (1 plate ada 2 different pizza, each flavour ada 3 keping). kalo nk pedas, tuang chilli flakes byk2. then we ordered organic apple juice which is verrrrry refreshing. mmg terbaek la organic apple juice dia.
after our zohor (and asar) prayer at a nearby mosque, we continued for our Beysehir lake boat ride. before we reached there, at any area where the guide (or captain) felt that the scenery is beautiful, we would stop to take pictures. (trip ni mmg sgt rilex bersantai2 amik gmbr memanjang). by the time we reached Beysehir lake, the timing was just perfect to see the sun sets. on the boat, apart from watching sunset, we could also feed the birds. and dance =) and berangan, muahahahah.
finally, before we checked in to another hotel, we went to Esrefoglu Mosque, an old mosque that is built since hundreds of years ago. yg best psl msjd ni, its still solid, kukuh walaupun still retain kayu2 yg asal2 digunakan utk bina masjid ni. seriously amazed sbb mmg tradisional sgt.

~ with the Imam ~
~ inside the mosque ~
that night, we checked in at Anamas Hotel yg biliknye cntk jugak. Alhamdulillah, asyk dpt bilik hotel yg best je, hehehehe. the journey continues in the next entry okeysss.

~ 10 days in Turki (Pt.4) ~

- 3rd day -
we left our hotel after breakfast and headed to one historical site that shows old Turkish houses. oh before that, didn't I tell u that the view we had from this hotel is spectacular?

Subhanallah. however, our guide told us that most of the houses nearby the hotel are empty, some are for sale and some are only being used during summer as vacation house.
our 1st stop for the day was at an area that's still being preserved for old Turkish houses. believe me, this area is awesome walaupun some of the houses looked like rumah tinggal. jln agak xrata kt area ni, dinasihatkn wear comfy shoes. and again, it's cold (*sigh*). jgn terpedaya when u hear Turkish ppl said the weather is warm & nice (*double sigh*).
while we walked, our guide continued to explain the design, history & architecture of these houses. tp disbbkn too busy taking pictures (u see, I was amazed with this area), I didn't listen to most of it. but I do know that mud bricks were used to build the houses. that much I know, hahahaha. we walked until we reached another beautiful mosque in Kutahya (Kutahya Ulu Mosque). this time we didn't perform solat in this mosque but we met with the Imam who then recited some Quranic verses for us. syahdu dgr Imam mengaji.
we continued our journey by bus to hv our lunch at one Rest&Relax area, performed our solat there and continued with another long journey to our next destination - Hierapolis-Pamukkale Ancient City. (*note: entrance fee is TL20). this place is declared as World Heritage site due to the history of ancient empire that was built around this place. u'll get to see the ruins of some of the buildings and it's amaaaaazing! again, the climb to see the theatre is quite challenging. so, don't try to hike with ur high heels or stilettos. preferable to use comfy shoes.
not far from the ancient city, there's a hot water spring where u can sit & dip ur feet in it while absorbing the magnificent scenery that surrounds u.

~ such a great place to enjoy sunset ~
I left this place, feeling satisfied that I've been to one of the beautiful places on earth and praying that Allah gives me good health and more rezqi to view His other great creations.
~ gaya org satisfied, muahahahahaha ~
if u plan to get souvenirs, there's a souvenir shop near the exit. comparing the prices of the items, some of it is cheaper than the souvenirs I've seen/bought at other places. some is slightly expensive. when u r travelling like this, there's never a guarantee that u'll always, always get cheaper price when u r buying something. kalau dpt, itu rezki namanye. as for me, I got a postcard for free from this souvenir shop, hehehehe. Alhamdulillah, rezki namanye =)