想要到土耳其很久了，但是久久沒有成行，因為溫尢堅持那邊很危險！ 我跟來自科索沃的攝影老大講到這，他嗤之以鼻，非常的不以為然，但是問他可能不準，因為他老兄是從科索沃土生土長，哪可能覺得區區土耳其會危險？不過看他那經歷風霜的臉就知道，人家可能是在戰火中長大的，所以知道我要去伊斯坦堡，攝影老大說只要小心那邊的男人，我會玩的非常開心，真是說的一點也沒錯！ 在坎城影展結束後的第一天，我從尼斯飛到伊斯坦堡，準備來個土耳其初體驗！
After Cannes, I made a two day stop over to Turkey. I’ve heard so many good things about it and have been wanting to go, but SOMEBODY stopped me because he deemed Turkey “too dangerous” to visit. Since I bought my ticket to Cannes on Turkish Airline, a stop over in Istanbul was inevitable. However, it didn’t stop the old man from worrying. He insisted I took off my wedding band and engagement ring before leaving. I don’t think my husband’s intention was to make me feel single again, but I was basking in attentions from Turkish men who were trying to grab a piece of me or my money. Either way, I was thoroughly enjoying myself in this ancient, exotic and amazing city.
土耳其之旅的所有細節，我把它完全交付給一起旅行的死黨J小姐手中，因為她是土耳其的識途老馬，來過很多次，所以我完全是抱著不動腦的心態去旅行，我只知道我們要住的飯店叫做『Rose Garden Suites』，其他的也沒管太多。不過，當她先告訴我飯店是三星的，沒有游泳池，更沒有電梯，說實在的，聽到時我心裡超不爽，想說會不會是破破爛爛的飯店?! 但是，一抵達之後，發現雖然這飯店麻雀雖小，五臟俱全，而且富有奧托曼風格的裝潢，進了房間後，看起來乾乾淨淨，挺有異國風味，另外價格非常親民，又附早餐，地理位置又好，真是賺到了。至於沈重的行李，可以請飯店員工幫你提進去房間。
After two weeks of non-stop working in Cannes, I left all the travel details in the hands of my bestie/travel partner Miss J. I told her I want to eat, shop and sleep. So when she told me that we will be staying at a three star hotel called “Rose Garden Suites” with no swimming pool, and no elevator, to be totally honest, I was a bit peeved. However, when the taxi pulled up, I was pleasantly surprised. It was a charming little hotel nestling in the old part of the town. It is clean, charismatic, and designed with Ottoman style. It was a great bargain for what we were paying and breakfast was included! As for carrying the luggage up the stairs, you can ask the staff to do that with a generous tip!
飯店的地點在舊城區，走路十分鐘就可以走到一些當地著名的觀光景點，所以我們check in 之後，把行李放下之後，就立刻出門去參觀像是藍色清真寺
The hotel was located in Old Town, and within a 10 minute walking distance, we were able to see the Blue Mosque,
Obelisk Off III. Tutmosis 埃及方尖碑
And Hagia Sophia! We hired a tour guide to walk us through this church-turned-mosque beauty that was originally constructed in the 4th century. I walked into it and was immediately taken back by its austerity and history. It’s amazing how influences from both religions co-exist and rests beautifully in this historical site. Unfortunately at the time of our visit, a huge scaffolding was erected in the middle of it. It doesn’t stop one from being in awe of it.
The second day in Istanbul was actually last day because I was taking a red eye home at night. I decided to leave our little tour group, take the public transportation and venture out on my own. I wanted o see for myself the 5 star luxury that I didn’t have the budget for on this trip, the “Ciragan Palace Kempinsky Hotel”. The plan was to take the train to the nearest stop and then take a taxi. Before I was always with my girlfriends and felt safe with them. When I walked alone on the street, the grabbing and the attention from the overly-touchy feely Turkish men, who were trying to convince me to look at the carpet he was selling became a little bit too much to handle. I was calm and polite, until this boy who was helping me to buy a train ticket, started following me into the station. I clutched my handbag closely, and told him to bugger off! I even got off a few stops earlier, just to make sure he wasn’t following me. Call me paranoid but I think the husband would have been proud.
The hotel was built in the 17th century and in 1992 it was turned into a hotel with the construction of the hotel rooms. If you’re staying here, don’t be expected to stay in a palace because it is reserved for bigger functions, galas or weddings. I loved the grandiose and the decadence in its architecture.
From the garden you can see the Bosphorus Bridge that separates Europe and Asia.
After all, it is a palace, so of course the interior decor, the chandeliers and the tile design, the staircase are all fitting for royalties.
It cost me less than $40 Lira for a cup of coffee and a cake that was nothing to write home about. I snapped some photos, took a leisure stroll in the garden, and hopped back on a taxi to head back to my hotel. Even though my trip there was short, Istanbul was nothing short of breath-taking scenes, rich history and passionate (aggressive) people. I know I’ll be back next time with F to live dangerously and explore the unknown