Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Istanbul the Historic city.

After five days in Dubai our vacation continued to Istanbul. We reached Istanbul at around 6pm local time and was greeted with a beautiful sunset. We took the airport shuttle to our hotel and it proved to be quite expensive. We later found out that the actual price for our hotel transfer from the airport was only half the amount we paid.
Our hotel was located in Sirkeci which is about 100 meters from Topkapi Palace and 200 meters from Spice Bazaar. On the first day in Istanbul, we took the Bosphorus tour. This tour starts after breakfast, when we were picked up from the hotel by our tour guide Emut. We were taken on a short city tour and then proceeded to the mouth of the Golden Horn, to explore the bustling Egyptian Spice Market of 17th century origin - a colorful bazaar heaped with spices, Turkish sweets, dried foods and much more. Then we headed to Camlica Hills the highest point in the vicinity of Istanbul, 267 meters above sea level. It has a small teahouse in the midst of the pine grove which gives the peak its name. From here, there is an absolutely magnificent view, which makes it well worth visiting here. One has a panoramic sight of the whole city, the Bosphorus almost as far as the Black Sea, the Marmara Sea with the Princes Islands, and behind that, the great snow covered ridge of Uludag, the Bithynian Olympus. We took the opputunity to take many pictures here.

Then finally we headed to Eminonou to take our ferry for the Bosphorus tour.
We discoverd a wealth of impressive sights all along the shores in the Bosphorus ferry trip along Istanbul's famous waterway dividing Europe and Asia. The trip along this sea is about 1 1/2 hours during which we had the chance to relax and admire the shoreline of beautiful mosques, lavish palaces and decadent villas. we also got to see Dolmabahce and Beylerbeyi Palaces, Ottoman summer mansions and Ortakoy mosque, the defensive Rumeli Fortress and Bosphorus Bridge - one of the world's largest suspension bridges, all alongside passing fishing boats, yachts, huge cargo ships and tankers.Hubby mentioned that this could be one of the most busiest waterway in the world. On the way back to Eminonu it was already beginning to get dark. The temperature suddenly dropped. Thankfully I was prepared for I brought extra socks and gloves and shawls for everyone. The pictures here are of Camlica Hills, Bosphorus trip and the Spice Bazaar.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Dubai in five days..is it possible??

Glitzy, glamorous, ultra modern and a dreamworld, Dubai lives for attention. This city has been 'invented as a shopping haven on earth. Although one feels transformed to another world, the feelings come crashing down as soon as you see the price tags on most things in Dubai.It is my second trip to this ultra modern city and I can tell that you will never be disappointed by this city. The Arabs here live in style and luxury and sometimes it seems to be a change looking at them for us especially when we Asian are used to see on tv the 'other' middle easterners ..Iraqis, Iranians, Afghans.. living in war torn countries with no basic amenities. It is just pride that perhaps make me go back to this city. Proud feelings of fellow Muslims who can build extraordinary structures, skyscrapers, malls and what not. Anyway here are some of the pictures of places we visited in Dubai that I had caught on camera.

The first picture is of the dhow which cruises along the creek. We took this tour and of course like everything else in Dubai the interior of the Dhow was superbly decorated with five star international buffet.

The second picture is of my son MS who insisted on buying the Arab national dress for men and was learning how to put on the "head gear" from the shopkeeper.

The third is of the Burj Al Arab. The magnificent structure standing tall and proud in this dessert land. The Burj Al Arab stands on an artificial island 280 metres (919 ft) out from Jumeirah beach, and is connected to the mainland by a private curving bridge. It is an iconic structure, designed to symbolize Dubai's urban transformation and to mimic the sail of a boat.
I was lucky to have caught the picture of one of the white Rolls Royce which is used as Limousin service for hotel guest here.

The fourth picture is my favourite place of all in Dubai.. the SKI DUBAI in Emirates MAll. Ski Dubai is the first indoor ski resort in the Middle East and offers an amazing snow setting to enjoy skiing, snowboarding and tobogganing or just playing in the snow. You don’t have to worry about ski clothing or equipment either. Ski Dubai has thought of it all and offers guests the use of winter clothing, ski and snowboard equipment and my kids had a wonderful time here. Imagine one minute we were in temperature 32c outside and the next minute we were in temperature -3c.

And finally the last picture is of the plane we took from Kuala Lumpur International Airport.. KLIA to Dubai. I will post more pictures once I have sorted all and will also post some of the beautiful pictures of our holiday in Istanbul soon Insya Allah.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Eid dul Adha Mubarak

Assalamualaikum one and all my friends and families. I am back in my own home and country. In fact have been back exactly for one week. It took me a while to get back to my routine though. I am sure you can imagine the amount of laundry that follows you back after a long holiday. Hmmm.... thinking about my holiday.. well that is a long story to tell. But all in all it was absolutely fun and joyous for the kids and hubby and me.I will try and share my experience on coming days insya Allah. But before that I would like to wish all my friends Eid Mubarak. May the blessed occasion of Eid Dul Adha brings happiness, joy and peace to you and family.

Buddy Award from Yasmeen

Buddy Award from Yasmeen

An Award from Yasmeen of Health nut

An Award from Yasmeen of Health nut