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Thursday, 11 August 2011

Istanbul, The Capital of Culture.......And Kebabs (The Last Day)

View of my small but comfortable room

Day 5, and it's the last day in Istanbul before heading back home to Singapore. I would definitely miss this place as i fell in love with this city since the first day i arrived. The sights, sounds, the smell of fresh baklavas, and of course the Kebabs! The highlight of my trip was definitely the Bosporus boat tour. From there i had seen the sights i could never get when traveling on land and the beauty of Istanbul itself.

Since it was the last day, i had an early breakfast, then went to back to my room to pack my stuffs as my check out timing is 1pm. It was supposed to be 12pm but i requested for late check out and the reception gave me an extra hour, so i don't mind at all! After packing my stuffs, left the hotel and went straight to Taksim Square. Took the underground tram from Kabatas to Taksim Station and reached within few minutes.

Taksim Square
Heavy traffic in Taksim Square
Taksim Metro Station
Taksim Square is a major shopping, tourist and leisure district famed for its restaurants, shops and hotels. Many tourists have flocked to this district for some photography, eating and whatsoever. I noticed that this is pretty much the modern part of Istanbul and with the loud honking of the cars, buses and motorcycles, this was definitely one of the busiest city in Turkey! Traffic jam was as always been a factor there, as when i was walking along the streets, i can see the disgruntled look on the drivers faces as they are stuck in a jam. Well, what else is new in this side of the world! Thank God i have not chosen to drive on this trip!...Hehe.

The buildings are pretty much modern and a blend with the old. Al fresco dining, fast food eateries, local food joints and shopping galleries filled the sidewalks of Taksim. When i took a look at my map, i noticed that Galatasaray's Sami Ali Yen Stadium was just a few Metro stations away from Taksim. So went ahead with the journey form Taksim Metro to Sisli Metro Station.

Underground Taksim Metro
Same subway system back home
Sisli Metro Station

Ali Sami Yen Stadium, home for Galatasaray Football Club
Galatasaray Spor Kulübü, (Galatasaray Sports Club) is a Turkish sports club based in Istanbul, most notable for its football section, also known as Galatasaray S.K.. It also fields teams in Athletics, Basketball, Wheelchair basketball, Volleyball, Water polo, Swimming, Rowing, Sailing, Judo, Bridge, Equestrian and Superleague Formula Motorsports. Galatasaray Sports Club is one of the most important members of Galatasaray Community as Galatasaray University and Galatasaray High School.
Usually seen on the sports channel in either Champions League or Europa League, here i have first hand look at the stadium in all of it's glory! Too bad can't go into stadium as it was closed for maintenance works. Grabbed a few photos and saw a small building just across the stadium parking lot, it was the club shop. Went in and browsed every item there is available. Finally came to a conclusion and bought me a Home kit of Galatasaray for 70 Liras. It's much cheaper here than back home. It would cost me about 90-120 bucks! After wandering around, saw the time was 11.30am. Quickly took the Metro back to Taksim station and transferred to the Underground tram back to Kabatas and took the tram back to Sultanahmet. The underground tram from Taksim to Kabatas was efficient and modern. Clean and spacious too. Here are some pics of the tram!

The tram itself, modern, clean and efficient
The tram platform

Total costs a mere 32 liras for this set meal
I headed back to Sultanahmet and was hungry. Luckily, restaurants are readily available along DevonYolu road, which is in Sultanahmet. With so many options available, i opted for the one with many types of dishes to choose from. It's like back home at a Nasi Padang stall, choosing your dishes at the counter and pay as you go. The chicken dish was so tempting thay i had to choose it! Also chose a mixed vegetables dish and a dessert. The dessert was the traditional Turkish pastry called the Baklava. Baklava is a rich, sweet pastry made of layers of filo pastry filled with chopped nuts and sweetened with syrup or honey. It is characteristic of the cuisines of the former Ottoman Empire and much of central and southwest Asia. The total meal costs me about 32 Liras and ate to my hearts content. Thia was a damn good meal that i have eaten in Istanbul. Bought some souvenirs for some of my peeps back home and went back to hotel to check out. Gonna miss this country and this city! Up next will be my trip report on Emirates, the service and the food on board!...See ya!

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