The first two galleries were taken by my dear friend, Jumilia Mohamed.
My trip to Cyprus took place for two weeks in November to December 2007. Though it has been a long time since those memorable days occurred, I could still recall them to this very day. Those were the days… when friends wouldn’t think twice sponsoring my trip considering they needed to spend only for one extra person — that is the then-still-single me.
Anyway, I travelled with a group of lady friends (and a young boy named Ismail) from Singapore, transitting for about 16 hours at Istanbul. It was late autumn coming to winter there in Turkey. So, when we landed, we could feel the immediate strike of cold onto our skin. We geared up there and then — putting on coats, gloves and winter caps. Our airline arranged for a complementary accommodation, along with a convenient transpot and pick-up service, to let us rest before our flight to Larnaka airport, Cyprus.
The long 11 hours flight from Singapore exhausted most of us that we could only visit the tomb of Sayyidina Ayyub al-Ansary, one of the sahabah (companions) of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, during our transit in Istanbul.
The maqam (tomb) was crowded by visitors, who sought the blessings of the blissful place or who were simply there for sight-seeing.
Returning from Cyprus, the group separated. The larger portion headed to Konya, the city of Rumi, where his tomb is located and his teaching of whirling dance is one of the main attractions. Nadia and I, unfortunately, wasn’t among this Konya group as we had to go back to Singapore as soon as possible. So, we rested at the same complimentary hotel we stayed in two weeks earlier.
In the room, I found a tourism map of Istanbul and excitedly discovered that some of the major sites were located within 10 to 15 minutes walk from where I was. Eager to see the most from the time I had left, I travelled alone, asking my way around across the streets of Istanbul to visit beautiful places including Haghia Sophia, Topkapi palace, and the Blue Mosque. All that I managed to do within the hours of my transit. But Jumilia wasn’t with me then, so I had no pictures of my solo journey.
So, here are some shots of Istanbul I didn’t manage to take or I had completely missed out: