Monday, September 1, 2014

ISTANBUL 2014 - DAY 01 - LUNCH AT BAMBI CAFE

Entry di Istanbul diteruskan.

Lepas kami pusing2 di Taksim Square sambil took tons of photos just like typical tourists [hahaha.....], we planned nak naik the Big Bus Istanbul yang kebetulan [dan memangnya pun hari2] park di Taksim Square tu. Conceptnya macam Hop-On Hop-Off bus kat KL tu. Since my wife suggested masa kami di Malaysia lagi, saya memang dah excited. I suka naik bus macam ni duduk tingkat atas open air. Senang nak ambik gambar...hihi...

Tapi apa2 pun perut kena isi. So kami pun check out the restaurants yg berderet2 di situ. And finally we decided to try out Bambi Cafe. Selain dari sebab nama restoran tu cute [hihi...], harga juga tak mahal seperti Starbucks Coffee around the corner di situ. Plus tak ramai orang, so since dah lapar, criteria macam tu jadi penting, i.e short wait time for food to arrive....hihi.

Inilah Bambi Cafe. Cute and pink! Hihi...

And this is the menu. We asked for the English version. Instead of the young waiter yg ushered us to our table, another waiter came and took our order sebab dia boleh cakap English. Good English actually. So dia pun explained the menu. Ooooo.... menunya semua ader daging jeeeee, doner daging, sandwich daging, nasi dgn daging, semua daging. Beef and lamb. Ok, ada la jugak chicken actually. Tapi main2 dishnya look like daging mostly. 

Suasana dalam Bambi Cafe. Simple je. 

Chef tengah prepare what looks like beef/doner wraps. Sini portion makanan sgt besar so you can be sure that you will get a lot of the daging if you ordered something with meat in it.


Oooo... those juicy burgers with hot soft steamy buns sure looked super delicious. Those are Islak Hamburgers.

Dan ini yg kami ordered. Roti2 yg satu besen tu, comes complimentary with the orders. Waaa.... so much food!!!

Saya ordered Pide Et Döner or 'Meat Pie Revolving' according to translation from menu...hihi

Dalamnya ader daging [very tasty, nicely spiced], fresh salads and tomato slices [tomato kat Turki adalah sgt sedap, juicy dan manis!] and potato fries plus a bit of sauce.
Verdict: Sedap but portion way too big for me, jenuh nak ngabihkan :)

My wife orderd this one - Pilav Üstü Et Döner or translated into English as per menu 'Above Rice Meat Doner' which is correct as the rice was buried under a lot of meat. And also with tomato slices and potato fries.
Verdict: Yes, sedap and tasty but also way way way too big a portion.

Kami terus decide that from then on, we will order only 1 order and then we will split the order. Jimat la :). Lagi pun kan tak elok membazir. Kalau teruskan jugak makan nak kasi habis, boleh kembang kempis hidung dibuatnya. 

Portokal Suyu ialah orange juice. So total 28.25 TL [Turkish Lira] is about RM41.00. So about RM20.00 per person for a simple lunch like that. Tapi ye la kan, tak boleh la kita dok compare2 cam tu. Kan dah gitu standardnya di Istanbul. Tapi to compare for the purpose of nak kawal perbelanjaan dan untuk mengagak belanja harian for food, for example, elok la buat.  
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Friday, August 29, 2014

ISTANBUL 2014 - DAY 01 - HILTON BOSPHORUS & TAKSIM SQUARE

Selama 2 minggu lebih kami di Istanbul, kami menginap di Hilton Bosphorus hotel. Sebuah hotel lama yg berprestij. Kalau tak kerana kursus my wife tu, memang le kami tak mampu nak duduk sini. Satu malam duduk sini nak dekat RM1 ribu! Sini memang agak mahal. Turkish Lira adalah 1.5 kali ganda RM.

Ini lah Hilton Bosphorus. Ada beautiful garden besar yg boleh digunakan oleh hotel guests for a 1 km jog. Saya akui memang tak pernah pun mimpi nak duduk hotel cam ni. Syukur, dapat la jugak merasa.  

Biliknya besar. Balcony juga besar. With a beautiful view of the garden. Kalau nak bilik with view of the Bosphorus, kena la fork out RM1k++ per night. Ke RM2k++? Entah le. Dare not even find out...hihi...
Fyi, masa kami reached hotel, masa tu baru pukul 8:30 pagi and check-in time is 2:00 pm or earliest 12 noon. So kami ingat nak just leave our bags and start jalan2 ke town. But honestly we were very tired and a short nap would be heavenly. The reception staff knowing that we just got off a 10+ hour flight immediately made a call [may be to house keeping kot] and check if there is a room available [standard room]. She asked us to have a seat first at a [luxurious] sofa near reception while she tried to help us. Tak sampai 15 minit, she said yes, they do have a room and we can check-in in 15 minutes time. Like, wow! We really thanked her! Bila room dah siap, kami terus ke bilik and took a nap. It was such a blissful nap :)

Bangun dari nap kami rasa lapar sungguh. So apa lagi, cepat2 bukak bag dan out came maggi mee...hahahaha.... Nothing  like an instant fix to tackle hunger like mee segera..hihi.. And let me tell you, at that time the maggi mee had never tasted soooo good...hihi....
Ok, ni first few photos of Istanbul that I shot. Of street and people. Hence forth, I took thousands during the 2+ weeks duration. Literally thousands. How do I cope with the shameful and ridiculous total of shots [hahahaha...]? Saya bawak small laptop and external drive. So bila memory card penuh, transfer je ke computer and back em' up :). 

Dekat2 area hotel ada banyak restoran/cafes. Later2 saya found out belah2 malam, tempat2 tu sgt happenning. But that's not our cup-of-tea. 

More eateries. 

Dan ramai pelancung2 Arab. 

One thing Istanbul city ni saya suka sebab nampaknya semua dah settle. I mean tak der on-going projects la, jalan2 tutup sebab upgrades la, you know stuff like that yg buat nampak city tu cam tak siap lagi. Sini semua dah settle. Of course la ader juga a few here and there tapi tak le bothersome. 

Ini at the edge of [entering] the famous Taksim Square. Ada teksi stop. Teksi sini ok sebab pakai meter. Nanti later2 saya cerita story saya naik teksi kat sana.  


Ni Taksim Square. Ambil masa lebih kurang 15 minit jalan kaki dari hotel. Di sini juga ada the central station of the Istanbul Metro network. Later2 during the week, our tour guide kata, Taksim Square ni for the locals is the meeting place. Dari mana pun mereka, kalau nak kemana-mana, mesti kumpul jumpa kawan2 di Taksim dulu. Pas tu baru gerak ke tempat yg nak dituju. 

Kami noticed ada a few gerai kecik merah ni. Mereka jual roti, jagung bakar mostly. Mereka ni legal i.e ada kebenaran bergerai di situ. Once I saw [a few days later] ada penjual2 yg bertempiaran lari bila kereta polis [mini car] make its round. 

Once kami saw the Big Bus Istanbul, kami got very excited. Memang dah dari Malaysia my wife suggest kami try this bus tour. She said it'll be like a good initiation to know about the city. More of this later.

Tengah2 Taksim Square ni , ada tugu called the Republic Memorial untuk memperingati Bapa Kemerdekaan Turki, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. From one side, Ataturk diabadikan sebagai seorang jeneral tentera yang mengetuai Perang Kemerdekaan Turki pada tahun 1920. Pada arah yang lain pula, Ataturk digambarkan sebagai seorang pemimpin rakyat kepada penduduk-penduduk Turki yang terdiri dari petani, pekerja dan orang kebanyakan.



Suasana di Taksim Square. Sangat ramai tourists. Mungkin sebab Summer kot.

Tram yg boleh dinaiki untuk ke Istiklal [Independence] Avenue which is a shopping street. There will a post on Istiklal Avenue later2 :).

Kedai2 di pinggir dataran. Ramai wanita khususnya pelancung yg pakai garland bunga2 kat kepala mereka. Cute really.



Di sini juga banyak restoran2 makanan segera. Daaaaaaging je sajiannya!

Kami ada makan di salah satu restoran2 tu. Later2 akan saya buat satu entry pasal makan di sini.

Ni pemandangan Istiklal Avenue. Ramai orang tapi tak la sesak sgt sampai tak boleh gerak. Kami bercadang akan ke sini dan jalan sampai hujung later that week. 


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Bersambung....

Thursday, August 28, 2014

ISTANBUL 2014 - DAY 01 - FLIGHT TO ISTANBUL

Hajat di hati memanglah berharap satu hari nanti dapat kami ke Istanbul. Maklum la kalau nak ke belah2 sana, RMnya perlu banyak. Jadi selalunya bila buat plans nak bercuti, Turki akan berada yg paling bawah dalam list.

Alhamdulillah kerana saya dan isteri dapat juga ke sana. Kebetulan isteri terpilih untuk berkursus di sana so sang suami pun tumpang ler...hihi. Lagi pun tak sedap hati ini bila isteri sorang2 jauh di sana. Pulak tu selama 2 minggu!

So peluang ini kami gunakan sebaik-baiknya. Kami rancang elok2 daily itinerary untuk cover mana yg sempat according to budget, of course. Kiranya once my wife selesai kursus pada hari tu, kami merancang pergi jalan2. Masa tu di Turki musim panas so waktu siangnya panjang. 

Tapi sebelum tu kena uruskan penginapan Tam Tam. Sedih gak rasanya nak tinggalkan dia lama2. 
Sedih....

Hmm.. alahai, nak ikut ke Tam Tam. Siap duduk/baring atas my wife's luggage pulak. Kesian nengoknya...



Syukur ada pet shop dekat2 rumah cause Tam Tam ni takut naik kereta. So short drive dia tak le trauma sgt.
Letak je carrier dia atas lantai, Tam Tam terus masuk. Macam dia tau-tau je di nak kena tinggal. 
Terharu aku jap...


Kami hantar Tam Tam ke Rampai Pet SHop. Alan, the owner of the pet shop whom we meet earlier, is a super nice guy. He showed us around and told us how he will take care of Tam Tam. In fact, dia siap kata he will sent photos and videos of Tam Tam via Whatsup to us! Waaa..... happy giler aku!! Hihihi....

Kesian Tam Tam kena duduk dalam sangkar. Tapi kata Alan dan staff dia, Tam Tam akan dibawa keluar di persekitaran dalam kedai tu so that he can stretch and run around and get to know other cats, like Muffy [Alan's cat]. Plus they will groom and bathe Tam Tam! Bagusnya service mereka! Plus I noticed Alan's staff, a young girl, is very experience and quite obviously is someone who loves cats. 

Sebab kesiankan Tam Tam, kami sewakan untuk dia sangkar paling besar yg ader dalam kedai tu, yang 3 tingkat...hihi.... 





Tu dia, yg dalam sangkar tengah tu, tengah jengok2 kami masa kami tengah nak beredar... sedihnya aku... 


Ok lah, panjang benor pulak pasal Tam Tam...hihi...

And so off we went to KLIA for our penerbangan perkongsian dengan kod Malaysia Airlines MH5881 dengan Turkish Airlines TK61. Ni first time kami naik code-share flight. Kami beli tiket dari Malaysia Airlines tapi the flight was under Turkish Airlines. Jadinya tak boleh buat online check-in dari website Malaysia Airlines pulak. So kena la check-in kat kaunter Turkish Airlines di KLIA. 

Risau gak takut tak de seats for both of us to sit together. My wife's office bought her ticket. I bought on my own. Fortunately masih ader lagi 2 seater tepi tingkap :)

Flight dijadualkan akan berlepas pada 11:15 malam.

Sambil jalan ke pesawat sambil baca2 doa.

Tepi sayap pun tepi sayap le... janji dapat duduk berdua-duaan...hihi. Lama flight ni 10 jam ++.

Suasana dalam pesawat. 



Macam2 Turkish Airlines ni bagi. Selipar pun ada. Hmm.. dah flight lama cam tu, elok sgt la bukak kasut. 

Favourite! Turkish Delight! Dibuat dari madu. Sangat sedap!

Menu Turkish Airlines.

Saya cuba la jugak baca yg dalam bahasa Turki tu. Ada huruf2 yg ada tanda cam comma and dots. Contohnya 'İnişten Önce'

More stuff from Turkish Airlines. Sampai tak der tempat nak taruk. Selipar, selimut, batal etc. Sesak..hihi

Toiletries and ear plug. How thoughtful! 

Pramugari Turkish Airlines. Ramai sungguh penumpang yang mintak alcoholic drinks. 

Ni nak panggil apa ya? Supper? Ke sahur? Hihi..


My wife had the grilled chicken breast and I had the Salmon fillet.

Omg, that rice [saffron rice] was sooooo nice! Kalau la rice sedap cam ni kat Istanbul, habis la aku!


Hmm.... yes, the huge prawn was cooked but that 'dip' at the bottom tu, entah apa rasanya tah... 

Simple tapi delicious!



Flight map. Route sgt jauh peta tak dapat tunjuk keseluruhan perjalanan pada skala ini.

Lepas makan, time to relaks. Layan in-flight entertainment. Ada bacaan Quran, so pilih surah Yasin. Sambil terus berdoa semoga selamat perjalanan. 


Cuba2 belajar Turkish language..hihi

Kami siap tanya pramugari cam ner nak say 'Thank you' in Turkish. Dia sebut tapi sangat susah nak sebut dan sgt panjang...hahaha...


Dah nak sampai India saya masih lagi tak boleh nak lelap. 

7 jam lagi....




Jadi capai la in-flight magazine 'Skylife' and read. Best sebab banyak info about Turkey. So I try to take some note to spice up our itinerary while in Istanbul.


Lots of interesting information for touristy activities...hihi.

Hmmm... saya imagining sayalah lelaki itu, jalan2 dengan Blue Mosque behind me siap dgn burung2 berterbangan...hihi...

Fantastic photos. Hopefully I will get the opportunities to capture such amazing sceneries.

Saya suka map gunung ganang ni :)


Dah sampai Tehran....


Also got in-flight chef di economy class. Tapi he was with that passenger je la. Special meals kot. 


For the rest of us commoners, our meals comes from here.. haha...

Pramugara Turkish Airlines.

Ni cam kira breakfast kot. Ke atau macam sahur gak? Hihi...

Dah nak sampai dah...


Alhamdulillah, dan kami telah selamat mendarat di Ataturk Airport selepas penerbangan selama 10 jam 28 minit. Syukur, Alhamdulillah. Time of arrival was 5:00 am in the morning. Gelap kat luar tu.

Plane park jauh dari building so kena naik bas. 



Sebab nak bergambar so kena nampak ceria dan segar. Padahal letih Ooo.... 

Tengah tunggu teksi datang ambik. Kami took private transfer dari Ataturk Airport to Hilton Bosphorus which my wife did the booking via internet a few days before we departed. Kosnya ialah 30 Euro [lebih kurang RM125.00]. Perjalanan ke Hotel mengambil masa 45 minit. It was early morning and it was Sunday. So tak jam.

No photograph may be reproduced, downloaded, copied, stored, manipulated, or used whole or in part of a derivative work, without written permission from Syed Amran. All rights reserved.

Bersambung.....