When the summer vacations slowly tucked in, I decided to plan out a vacation with my family. Most of us go through this kind of argument; where to go? While your mom may say Europe and your dad gives you enough reasons why it should be Asia. Between this hot fight, Turkey struck my mind. Why? Because it is a getaway to both Asia and Europe, so it was a win-win situation. And that’s how we decided we’d be enjoying our holidays in Turkey! We booked a 4 nights and 5 days Turkey holiday package from Dubai. We applied for our Turkey visa and got it approved within 5 business days, and we were all set to go.
Now how did I make it to Turkey?
Well, this is a funny story. I was stuck at the office with some meetings and was pretty aware of the fact that I was going to miss my flight. We booked a direct flight from Dubai to Turkey and I was sure I was going to be late. All I could possibly think of was that it was the country of my dreams and I had to go here, missed flight or not missed a flight. This was going to be trip that would create a kind of magic that will last long forever. This is what made me super excited. Now cutting the long story short, I managed to board my flight to Istanbul at the very last call, but I DID IT.
So now let’s start with DAY 1: ENTERING ISTANBUL
While I was up high in the sky, beneath the clouds I could see a vague reflection of the city of Istanbul that seemed to sparkle under the light of the sun. As soon as our flight landed, on the completion of all the formalities we emerged out of the airport into the country that is straddling between Asia and Europe. It was a feeling of conquering. After the Greeks and Romans – We were going to explore Istanbul.
The airport was well-connected to the city-center with the metro and we easily reached our hotel. After a quick check-in we were all set to explore the bustling streets and discover what Istanbul had in store for us. By walking down the cobblestoned streets and found everything so touristy. Musical instruments, Turkish towels and soaps, colorful carpets and delicious Turkish cuisine.
Apart from this, we were ready to walk down the Galata Bridge and we saw the locals with fishing rods all ready to have the best catch from over the bridge. We made a quick stop to the Rustam Pasha Mosque with beautiful interiors and then later snacked the famous Doner Kabab. Later in the evening, we went for a dinner at the lake side and that one thing I will never forget about that night is Raki – an unsweetened flavored alcoholic drink that went smooth on my throat.
DAY 2: ISTANBUL’S OLD CITY
We knew most of our day was going to be spent wandering around the thousands of Turkey tourist attractions, including the famous Blue Mosque. Almost all the monuments of this city have been beautifully maintained by the government. Another worth a visit was Hagia Sophia which is a church turned into a mosque and the Topkapi Palace.
After visiting the monuments, we moved further with the world famous Turkey Grand Bazaar. It was like Aladdin’s treasure containing everything you dreamed of. And the best thing about this place was – We could BARGAIN!!! After experiencing the charm of the Grand Bazaar with a little bit of shopping, we decided to go back to our hotel. On our way back, we stopped for a delicious Turkey delicacy that is Kumpir. Kumpir could be called as the Turkey Subway Sandwich that is a huge potato baked with all the toppings you want. It was worth the try.
DAY 3: ISTANBUL WITH CRUISE
Another beautiful morning had been witnessed by us and right after a delicious breakfast we headed to the Dolma Bahce Palace which is another outrageously beautiful palace. I was amazed to look at the crystal chandeliers and they seem to win our hearts away with the way it glittered. Anyway, right after the palace, we were up for a Bosporus Cruise in the blue waters. It’s an experience not to be missed.
After the cruise we headed straight to the Spice Market and the Arasta Bazaar where we were introduced to the delicious Apple Tea and I was so happy to have it endlessly. We were going to be flying out Istanbul and I was sad but at the same time, quite excited.
DAY 4: CAPPADOCIA
A journey of 1 hour and 25 minutes, I personally think was one of the best decisions I made. I don’t know what was magical; the fairy chimneys and the rock formations are immensely beautiful. The early morning hot air balloon ride over this surreal landscapes felt like a dream come true.
DAY 5: TIME TO GO BACK
Soon it was time for us to be back to Istanbul and board our flight back to Dubai. It was a beautiful country with warm people, food to die for and fabulous shopping opportunities. If you don’t know what to do in Turkey, don’t worry you’ll find everything in place once you are there.