Relax, it feels safe in Istanbul!

Due to unexpected and surprising, but pleasant ways of life, I found myself in Istanbul in a period when everybody is avoiding approaching Turkey. Here I am for 3 weeks, right after some bombings, attacks and other scary events and believe it or not I find it safe and exciting. Well, the more than one hour waiting time in the line ( what line? ) , sorry, I meant chaotic crowd, at the arrival wasn’t very exciting at the airport, especially felling your comfort zone being invaded from every possible side. Skipping that part and ignoring the usual issue of this city: crazy, really crazy traffic – Istanbul has a great vibe!
Taksim square at any time of the day or night remains the central point of entertainment.

  
  
Obviously if I made my way until Taksim square I wasn’t going to miss taking the funicular along Istiklal avenue.

  

Istiklal avenue had everything that I could wish for: shops, restaurants, beauty salons, bars and a few really good cafes. 

Turkish people are good at many things, but what I certainly appreciate the most is their skill of preparing really delicious sweets . Sometimes delicious is not enough for them and then they make it also impressive. How? For instance with this enormous tower of sugar, honey and others they managed to attract quite a few customers, at least until the window to take a photo.

  The big variety of baklava certainly distracts, but it does worth giving a chance also for the local cuisine, which never dissapoints either . 

  
  

With full stomach of Turkish food and delights I’m feeling pumped to make the most of my free days in this awesome city full of varieties. Not that much interested in the touristy spots, but at least from outside it does worth checking out the Blue Mosque and the Galata tower. 

  
  

 Some other worth seeing spots are around the two above mentioned ones and with the small number of tourists in no time I checked them out too. 

  
   

  

  

While sipping a refreshing home made lemonade at a nearly empty terrace near the Blue Mosque , the waiter tells me how on a regular Sunday like this I wouldn’t be able to find a table. Now it’s different though…The number of visitors dropped so much that the staff are bored during the working hours…On the other hand the degrees didn’t drop at all, instead kept increasing, so actually I’m quite glad I have a spot with my lemonade.

  
 All energized I’m hitting the road, not too far I bump into the Basilica Cistern. 

  
   

In order to make it all complete a bazar must be included too . I head to the spice bazar at the suggestion of my just met American mate , not that much cause I want to buy any special spices, but more for the experience. We get to discover that the spice bazar is actually a kind of bazar of everything: soaps, towels, sweets, teas and of course spices too. 

  
   

 In case you didn’t know what a great advertising are Turkish sellers able to improvise , at a bazar you will certainly notice. “Everything is the best quality, the most intense and long lasting perfume, at the best price and just for you with a semnificative discount . If you have any doubts you can try it: have a bite of the baklava, a sip of the tea.” Still not convinced ? Maybe the names will make it easier. Lacking some love? At every stand you will find some love tea. Feeling weak today? Red bull tea for you. Having a boyfriend with issues? Hopefully one of these two will solve the problem! 

  
We didn’t purchase anything, but had heaps of fun! “Bazaring” it’s cool and Turkey, you rule!

  
  
  

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Exciting Hong Kong-ing

When it comes to Hong Kong I doubt that someone would bring up the word: silent. For this reason now, when I look back I am so greatful that my plane landed at 6 am in this marvelous city. That meant I started my 10 hours layover very early, at 7 am on a Saturday morning wandering on the usually crowded streets of Hong Kong almost all by myself. I got the chance of experiencing a silent city, which was covered up with the previous nights party’s remains – those were not the most pleasant things to see, I have to admit that.   
The pleasant part though was present: watching how the city comes to life again. 
  
  

As I walk around the tempreture is remarkably rising, the humidity is high and even if it’s still early morning and I can’t even spot the sun, I can feel that it’s gonna be another hot day. The typical Asian attention and admiration is impossible to not notice, as polite and kind they are, the way they stare at me – I’m not Asian looking so they check well the differences and they are not really diplomatic at it – is slightly disturbing after a while, considering that I’m dealing also with a nasty jetlag. However, I just instinctively ignore the deep looks and go on exploring and discovering the city by the Star Ferry, which takes me to Kowloon, the part of the city that I found super exciting .

  
Victoria Harbour is fascinating and walking around is simply relaxing and refreshing. If you want to escape the real world you can always pop in the Space Museum, where I assume you meet a few more similar pals of the little green man.
  
  
Further down you meet significant people from our planet, well, I mean celebrities of Hong Kong, more precisely statues of them at the Garden of Stars.

  As we are all special and significant too, at least let me believe so, you’ve got the necessary setting to feel like a film start shooting the movie of your carier right now right here.

  
Obviously after meeting space creatures and celebrities, feeling both star – thanks to all the eyes pointed at you because of your non-Asian look- and space creature – dizziness that comes with jetlag seriously feels like having your head in the space spinning round and round – a walk in a park it’s necessary, especially when the entry looks so welcoming.
  
A well deserved chill time is indeed possible right when Hong Kong became the busy city I had imagined. Life is running in faster rythm outside of the park, but inside it’s all about relax, quiet, people chilling and stretching. 

  


 
  In the city of Hong Kong I met the unexpected diversity of dragons, refreshing and silent nature just around the corner from the busy shopping districts and kindness and polite attitude of the locals.

  
  
 This is how a good trip starts after all…