Archives for posts with tag: architecture

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Our final day in Istanbul began the way all our days had begun….

…with the epic butter mountain at breakfast! 🙂

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After we had eaten and done the obligatory mad rush to pack and leave the room, we stashed our suitcases at the hotel, and headed out to Dolmabahce Palace. This was recommended to me by a cousin who had visited Istanbul, as an example of insane uber-grandness, and it certainly lived up to that!

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There was a long queue for tickets when we got there, which was annoying but at least the view was great.

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There was also a long wait to get in as they only let a few people in at a time. When we got to the front we also realised that you have to go as part of a guided tour, which was annoying as I really don’t like guided tours! I know they are way more informative and everything, I just hate being told what to look at and for how long when I’m on holiday!

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It got more irritating when, after putting our little blue shoe covers on, we were told that there were no photos allowed inside!

Had it not been for this blog, I probably would have been quite zen about it but it turns out that “no photos” is the worst thing you can say to a blogger, and I was miffed!

I also totally flouted the rule and tried to take as many pictures as I could without being noticed.

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Consequently, all my pictures are slightly blurry, and frequently involve the underside of someone’s chin, but still! I’m a rebel without a cause! I’m a donkey on the edge! I AM BLOGGER HEAR ME ROAR!

Dolmabahce

It was incredibly grand and extravagant. Apparently, building it actually contributed to the bankruptcy of the country! It was much more European than the heavily Ottoman influenced Topkapi, having been built much later on (in the 1800s) when the “refined”, luxurious European style was much more in fashion.

The chandeliers were amazing…

Dolmabahce chandeliers

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The library was lovely…

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The grounds were fabulous…

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More ‘Christmas tree’ railings! They were everywhere!:

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I would say that at least 50% of all the young girls I saw were wearing these flower crowns, and they were selling them everywhere!

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We passed these vibrant rainbow steps on the tram and I made my boyfriend get off so we could take pictures on them. Unfortunately, everyone else had the same idea so there was a queue of vain baffoons like myself waiting for the steps to empty. In the end, the people before us took so long, and other, less polite people didn’t bother to wait so they never emptied and there are loads of random people in all my photos…

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And cats! So many cats!

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I was wearing:

Pink M&S trench, which looked pretty cool against the steps, though I say so myself.

M&S flamingo shirt

M&S treggings (Ugh I’ve done it again, I do wear other brands sometimes!)

Office booties.

Sublime necklace.

River Island sunglasses.

Love bracelet from M&S (dammit!)

I was dressing solely for comfort here as I was heading straight to the airport. I always rely on colour and bling to make my comfy travel outfits a bit more exciting than a tracksuit.

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I never realised that I walked funny until these photos… Why are my legs always sideways?……. On the plus side, I appear to have done something weird to the photo on the right which makes me look really tall and leggy! Score 🙂

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Apparently, they have rainbow steps like these all over Istanbul, (see here for the story).

I adored them, they are just so darn cheerful!

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After the obligatory million pictures with cats (and truth be told, cats make me nervous! I am definitely more of a goldfish person), we headed back to Sultanahmet for our last supper. We went to a restaurant called Khorasani, which was, by far, the best meal we ate there! Had we eaten there first, I doubt we’d have gone anywhere else. It was so good! Plus, it was pretty, and the service was great. I would definitely recommend it to anyone going to Istanbul!

Khorasani

Then we rushed back to our lovely hotel to get our bags and off we went. Back home. To the land of gloomy weather and sup-par lamb shish. 😦

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It was an amazing trip though! So glad I finally went! 🙂

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Thanks for reading!

Love,

The Styletterie

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photo 4 (2) I went on a mini-break to Istanbul in late March and it was gorgeous! Here are some of my favourite pictures:

Day 1: Our hotel room. We stayed at the Hotel Sultania, and were very happy and comfortable there. I thought that the decor might be kind of cheesy but actually I loved it and the staff were all fantastic. 🙂 photo 1 (5) We arrived at dusk so we just went for a wander and then dinner. I wore: Stripey top with a weird back and underlayer effect from Express in New York that I had forgotten I had; M&S treggings; Sublime necklace; pink M&S trench that was a gift from my Mum and sister and has quickly become my favourite thing. The panda slippers were a gift a while ago so I don’t know where they’re from! (I refrained from wearing them out on my walk and just wore black Office booties. 😦 ) OOTD day1 Our hotel was in the Sultanahmet district so just a 5 minute walk to the Sultanahmet Mosque, better known as the Blue Mosque, and Haghia Sophia, amongst other things. photo 5 (2) Multi-coloured fountain in front of the Blue Mosque:

Istanbul fountain

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We went to Gulhane Kebab House for dinner as it had lots of good reviews on Tripadvisor. It was really tasty (I now need Turkish style buttered rice with all my meals) but we had to laugh as, while we were paying, 2 waiters came up to us separately to let us know that they were on Tripadvisor and would we like to review them? We smiled and said we would and the second guy hovered over us, waiting. “Would you like to do it now?” he offered. Umm. “WE HAVE WIFI!”

So, while it was really nice, I think we might have the reason for its online popularity!

photo 1 (6) The following day we made the Blue Mosque our first port of call. We arrived at prayer time so had to wait in the courtyard until it was over, at which point visitors are admitted. I wore: my black Asos 90s button down dress, with black leggings, boots, my pink coat and turquoise Suite Blanco jewellery. I added a strap top underneath for modesty, and kept my coat on inside the Mosque anyway. ootdday1 With regards to clothing modesty (something I don’t usually give too much thought to, being of an un-shy nature)- while Turkey is a secular country and I could wear whatever I liked, I was aware that I would be visiting religious buildings and that a large proportion of the population is Muslim. Consequently, I did make an effort to be more demure than usual, just as a sign of respect.

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photo 3 (5) Seriously, this building was so pretty, all I did was take photos of it. Every time I walked past I was struck by how picturesque it was – I now have about 400 of the same photo! photo 2 (8) photo 1 (12) They do hand out scarves for the women but I had one in my bag anyway so used that. You also had to take off your shoes (but you could keep your socks on.) photo 2 (12) 10419036_10152949821523952_5306533924525370691_n

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photo 3 (9) The reason it’s called the Blue Mosque is because the tiles on the ceiling are predominantly blue. photo 5 (7) Inside Blue Mosque I didn’t take too many pictures inside, as there were still some people praying and I felt weird about photographing them mid-prayer. I also refrained from any selfies in the actual Mosque but I was the only one! Pouting v-sign selfies abounded. I know this makes me sound so old (and possibly a bit judgemental :-/) but it just seems like an odd thing to do in a place of worship, regardless of whether or not you’re there for religious reasons. As someone who was taken to Church a lot as a kid, I was always taught to be on my best, most decorous behaviour and I know my parents would kill me if I didn’t show the same respect in any and all places of worship!photo 1 (13) photo 3 (10) photo 1 (24) I liked these little trees on the railings nearby- they look like Christmas trees!

A quick ice cream (Turkey is famous for its dondurma, which tastes just like normal, delicious ice cream but goopier and stickier. I think it’s made with mastic. It’s also famous for the sellers tricking you by pretending to drop it, spinning it around so you can’t grab it etc. And even though I had watched a whole video about this beforehand, I still fell for it and panicked that I’d dropped the ice cream as they were handing it to me!) and then on to phase 2 of the day, Hagia Sophia, which will have to wait for another blog post as I took way too many pictures of that too!

(Seriously, editing’s a b*tch! But considering that my own parents were unable to stay awake during my photo presentation, I figured I should cut down before unleashing them on the unsuspecting blogosphere!)

photo 5 (8) Thanks for reading!

Have a great Bank Holiday weekend! 😀

Love,

The Styletterie