In May 2022, I went on a quite long trip this time. From Indonesia to Turkey, country which in Indonesia is maybe well known because of Kebab Turkey which is one of the popular street food in Indonesia or because of International Football Superstar, Mesut Ozil. Well, my trip this time is started with a 12 long hours of flying using an aircraft which belong to Turkish Airline.
Before we start, I actually have so many places to tell about when I’m in Turkey. However, I’ll only mention some of it especially places which I deemed iconic enough. So let’s start with Istanbul!
About 7 PM Indonesia’s time, we left for Turkey from Soekarno-Hatta International Airport. After 12 hours, around 5 AM Turkey’s time (Oh, Turkey is GMT+3 while Indonesia is GMT+7, which there is 4 hours jetlag between Indonesia and Turkey). When we arrive, the Istanbul International Airport is not really crowded even though is not really empty. After getting clearance at the Imigration and getting our baggage, at around 6 AM we go to Tamara Restaurant at Istanbul to eat our breakfast.
When we arrive at Tamara Restaurant, I immediately remember that some of my friends reminded me to bring some food from Indonesia, or at the very least, sambal. They said it is because the food at Turkey is not as delicious as food at Indonesia. Well, surprisingly, I love the food! Especially the bread which always served first in almost every restaurant during my trip in Turkey. Besides, doesn’t we go to Turkey because we want the full experience? The food should be included too!
By the way, did you know that Istanbul is a city that is located on two continent? Yes, part of Istanbul is located in the Asia Continent, while the other part is located in the European continent, unique isn’t it?
Our destination in Istanbul is Sultan Ahmet Park. It is a huge park, which on it located some of the most iconice places in Istanbul like Blue Mosque and Haghia Sophia. The first place we visit is the Obelisk of Theodosius. This obelisk was actually erected in Egypt and was transported to Constantinople at 390 AD by Theodosius, Roman Emperor from 379-395 AD and stayed there until now.
Another place we visit there is the iconic Hagia Sophia. It was originally built by the Roman Emperor Justinian I as a Christian Cathedral, it was converted to a Mosque by Mehmed the Conqueror after the Fall of Constantinople in 1453. It was closed in 1931 and was reopened to the public in 1935 as a museum. However, in July 2020 it was again reclassified as Mosque by the Council of State of Turkey. We can still visit the inside, however for female visitor, it is mandatory to cover your head using some kind of cloth or by using a hijab. The funny thing is, I happened to have a quite long hair when I do this trip, so when I want to go to the inside of Hagia Sophia, one of the security personnel didn’t realized that I am a gentleman and not a lady, so he kinda stop me and ask me to use some cover to cover my head. Laughing, I explain to him that I am a man and he let me go, laughing. I use my hoodie though, to avoid having to explain to another security personnel, LoL.
Inside of Hagia Sophia, it is very big and spacious inside, with many lights and breathtaking interior. Even if it is crowded, it still feel kind of spacious. Oh, if you want to go inside, make sure to take off your shoes or sandals, because you have to go in barefooted. Socks is allowed though. Don’t forget your head cover or hijab too!
After a while, we go to our hotel in Istanbul to regain some of our energy that lost when flying 12 hours from Indonesia, and lost from walking around Sultan Ahmet Park (It’s huge, you know). The next day, we will ride our bus for around 5,5 hours to Ankara to visit the Mausoleoum of Ataturk and additional 3,5 hours to Cappadocia. The story and photos will be on the next post though, so keep checking my blog periodically for updates!