Wednesday, 6 June 2018

Travel Diaries: Istanbul, Turkey

A few months ago I took a beautiful trip with my parents to Istanbul, Cappadocia, Makkah and Madinah. Our very first stop was Istanbul, where we stayed for about a week. One of the first sounds I heard there, was the sound of the adhan (call for prayer), right from our hotel room. It was one of my favourite things about our trip. How I miss it! We heard it five times a day, right before every prayer. Istanbul is known as the "city of mosques." There are mosques everywhere! There was even a very small and modest one right across the street from our hotel. Another nickname for Istanbul is the "city of cats!" It is overrun by stray cats! There is even a famous kitty that lives inside of the Hagia Sophia museum, who has his own instagram account. =) I spoke with locals asking them who takes care of all these strays (FYI.. there are also stray dogs.). Our tour guide told me that locals and tourists are responsible for them. If you look closely, you can even see that some of the dogs have tags on their ears. These tags indicate that the dogs have been vaccinated, vet checked, and released back onto the streets. (Similar to the North American Trap, Spay/Neuter, and Release program). In my experience, I never once saw anyone be mean to any of these animals. They live peacefully amongst the humans and nobody seems bothered by them. It was really heartwarming to see how kind everyone was to these animals. Amongst the stray animals and mosques, we also saw most of the main tourist spots of Istanbul; The Hagia Sophia, the famous Blue Mosque, the Grand Bazaar, Topkapi Palace and such. The weather was a bit cold, so we had to take our winter clothes with us. Besides the cold, it was a lovely trip Allahumdulillah. We came back with various souvenirs of course, including Turkish Delight! Which as it turns out, is actually from Turkey, not Narnia! ;)

Blue Mosque
Inside Blue Mosque

Inside Hagia Sophia, featuring cat! =)

CATS! =)
Continental Breakfast at Our Hotel

Pierre Loti Look Out Point
Turkish Delight! My favourite!

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