Observations from Turkey

(Well, just Istanbul) I loved Istanbul! It was absolutely beautiful. Natural beauty, architectural beauty, good food, all of it. I had really missed seeing water. Well, I saw a lot of it on this trip! Beautiful seas, and we took a boat ride on the Bosphorus. We even got a few drops of rain one day! A lot of green, too.

from-the-bosphorus.jpg

The food is excellent there; we had free breakfast every day at the hotel. The sour cherry jam was really good, and they had some excellent cheese. Doner kebabs are pretty good, too.

I only learned a few Turkish phrases before I left; I’ll have to learn more if I get to go again. Turkish is a beautiful language. Turkish people are very nice themselves.

There are cats everywhere in Turkey, and they are cuter than the ones in Jordan. I think they are better taken care of. At the Fatih mosque, which is literally crawling with cats, they have boxes for them to sleep in, and they give them food. They feed pigeons there, too. Oh yeah, don’t eat in the courtyard of Fatih mosque unless you want a furry audience. I was sitting there eating a doner kebab and felt a tapping on my back. I turned around and there was a little brown kitten looking up at me. We fed it, and right away two more cats showed up. In the bazaar, they act like they own the place. I think they belong to the storekeepers because many were wearing collars and one was wearing one of those “evil eye” necklaces. We ate at the bazaar one day and there was a cat running around the restaurant and coming under our table.

cat-sleeping-in-bazaar.jpg

The mosques are, of course, awe-inspiring. We prayed juma in the Blue Mosque. It was the first time I’d been to juma since I left the states. They recite the Qur’an beautifully and the acoustics in the mosques are made for it.

inside-the-blue-mosque-2.jpg

Despite Turkey being a secular country, lots of people show up for the five daily prayers. Lots of women also pray at the mosques, using the same door. It seemed that even the most religious Turks are not overly prudish about gender.

It was fun being chased down the aisles of the Grand Bazaar by over-eager vendors who can do business in many languages. The Grand Bazaar is very busy but a lot of fun.

It was much hotter there than what I was expecting. It was probably about the same temperature as Jordan, but very humid so it felt much hotter.

Check out this article, Ramadan in Istanbul. I haven’t read it all the way through yet, but I’ve heard it’s good.

Also check out Saad’s Letters from Istanbul. I agree with most of his observations, especially in 1, 2, 4, 5, 9,and 12.

8 responses to “Observations from Turkey

  1. Nice cat where you were at that time ? Smiling in the travel booming of these days.I can not go anywhere because of having no money.

  2. Alhamdulillah as-salaameh. Turkey is the next place on my list of must-see countries, inshaAllah. Glad you had a great time. No one I know who has gone comes back and complains. Everyone raves about Istanbul and Ankara alike. InshaAllah I’ll get there one day.

    Did you find it pricey, or about the same as Jordan? (well, Jordan IS pricey)

    Ramadan Mubarak. Maybe I’ll get to meet you one of these days.

  3. Wawwww, what beautiful fotos.. Traveling to turkey seems amazing experiance.. I heard about an Islamic museum there, has interesting historical things. You did visit the museum?

    Btw, Happy Ramadan to you.. Wish you a blessed month..🙂

  4. SubhanAllah, Turkey does look absolutely amazing. I pray that one day I will get to travel there inshAllah!

  5. This is great to read. I am going to visit Turkey in the next few weeks for the first time and am sooo excited about it. Sounds wonderful with all that incredible history , culture, architecture and last but not least..all that wonderful food!

  6. Karta Laksana: the cat was sleeping in the Grand Bazaar. The store owner actually had to move her because she was blocking something a shopper wanted to see!

    Um Farouq: Istanbul’s definitely more expensive. Insha’Allah we’ll meet soon!

    Shahrzad: Yes, I did visit the museum; it was excellent! Happy Ramadan to you too.

    AmericanMuslim: Yes, it’s definitely worth trying to go

    Jyotsna: Have fun! Make sure you take a boat ride; the Bosphorus is beautiful! food is excellent. I love Turkish rice dishes. Btw, make sure you eat before going to the Istanbul airport; the prices in the food court are beyond ridiculous!

  7. ive been there

  8. Nice!

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