Discover Istanbul! Experience its unique spirit

European Istanbul stands out with its amazing architecture
Istanbul stands between Asia, Middle East and Europe

One of the most amazing features in Turkey is the number of cities that are on offer for a visit. This time we will cover the city of Istanbul. Since we have already covered a number of places in Antalya (SideTazi Canyon, and Gelidonya Lighthouse). This time lets look at the capital. Istanbul throughout centuries have been known with different names. The most outstanding would be the second Rome. The way it was built it also not that far from Rome itself. The people back in days used to travel between Rome and Constantinople (Istanbul) all the time. It was for trade, business or entertainment purposes. These days it is not much different as the city sees tourists from all around the world all the time.

There are several ways how you can travel from Antalya to Istanbul. You can take a train, a bus, drive or fly. For example for us, the quickest and fastest way of using our time is to fly over to Istanbul. The trip between the cities is only less than hour. In comparison, if you decided to drive or take a bus this 700km+ will take most of your day. Although, the convenience of driving your own car prevails. If you are not comfortable driving around in a foreign country, it is best to use the public transport.

a nice walk up the hill in Istanbul
monuments to famous Turkish people in Istanbul
Naval Museum and Art Gallery in Istanbul

Rather than again boring you with the stats and information from the Wikipedia. Let’s just enjoy the walk with me around the city. This time we were not that far from the infamous palace. Inside the palace we were not allowed to take videos. However, Istanbul walks also allows to enjoy modern infrastructure, architecture and art. We have had an opportunity to see and visit museums (since we have a museum card). The alley of the art galleries stretches itself for almost 2 kilometers or at least it felt that way. Each individual place had its own theme. Most of the enjoyable part is to see local artists and what they have created. While the Naval Museum of Istanbul has an interesting history with a number of vessels on the display.

modern European structure of the places in the alley of galleries in Istanbul

After living in New Zealand for over a decade. It was normal seeing Waka (Maori boat) absolutely everywhere. The most amazing vessel that I saw at the Naval Museum in Istanbul looked like Maori. The history of the vessel as it described in the premises looks a bit different to what I’ve seen to date. Also, given that the Maori’s believe have arrived from Hawaiki and this mysterious place was referred to as Taiwan rather than Hawaii. It could only be assumed what is going on with the vessel which is more Asian looking dragon boat rather than traditional for this type of area to have the boats at that time.

“Turkish” boat presented at the Naval Museum in Istanbul that looks like Maori waka
The local artist had a gallery presentation of his latest work in Istanbul

While looking around the alley of gallery in Istanbul. We walked into a number of places to check the local art work. The mesmerizing experience, first of all came from seeing the buildings are built in the old Victorian style. Although the properties from the outside look small and squashed, inside they are sitting across 4 floors, from the bottom to the top. All of the galleries that we have visited, we have counted over 10 rooms in each of those properties, making it either great place to live for a big wealthy family or turning into a gallery.

local Turkish artist holds a gallery in Istanbul

While I have not much understanding in art itself like many others may, it seemed like the presentation of the worked varied between the contemporary and modern art.

local Turkish artist holds a gallery in Istanbul

Also, outstanding components of the work relied on variations in color while complimenting with the various English references, meaning that the artist has either really good understanding of the English language or just used the most famous sayings as a statement of his art representation.

local Turkish artist holds a gallery in Istanbul
Istanbul can give you an access to Asian food

For the past four years we have greatly enjoyed the life in Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur. One of the biggest benefits of living in the city of Kuala Lumpur is having an access to a lot variety of food. One of the negatives of Turkey is the conservative approach to other nations food. As the local Turks have put it, we have it all we need, why try something new. So for us a trip to Istanbul or Ankara brings the excitements of enjoying Asian food.

Asian corner in Istanbul supermarket

The shopping mall that we have found the Asian corner in Istanbul is built like a starship. Either the designers are the fancy fans of the 80’s series or they thought to built it differently to other traditional shopping malls. The building goes around and although aesthetically it looks great, but the use of the space is probably totally inappropriate.

shopping mall in Istanbul looks like a starship

Walking around in Winter in Istanbul is rather pleasant for me but for majority of the people they were dressed for the weather in the coats etc.

shopping mall in Istanbul looks like a starship

Exploration of the Naval Museum in Istanbul

Given that we started looking at the Naval Museum in Istanbul, its only fair to save you time and money from visiting it as I have all of the spaces and places of the place.

all around Naval Museum in Istanbul can be found cannons

Although there are plenty of cannons lying around the places in Antalya and Istanbul, this one was outstanding to me for two reasons:
1. this cannon is just gigantic
2. it has inscriptions in Arabic
what this possibly means that it is a leftover from either the time of the Arab occupation of the place or it was sitting on one of the citadels that is either here or not anymore.

Turkish admirals and big ancient boats in Istanbul Naval Museum

When entering the museum the first one that stands out is the line of the Turkish admirals and one of them has the name of Barbarossa. It brings the question whether captain Barbarossa roamed the seas as the Spanish captain or Turkish, if earlier than why is he presented in Istanbul.

the alley of cannons in front of Navy Museum in Istanbul

Once passed the line of admirals right in the middle is the boat that looks like it’s either Maori or Asian Dragon boat. Then following the boat there are a number of boats that look like they were brought from South East Asia.

Asian boats in Naval Museum in Istanbul

The funny part is the presentation of the quick history how people are dressed in Turkish Naval history.

the ones on the left look like pirates and therefore confirms the idea of Barbarossa
Find out where we will travel to next

Hope you have enjoyed a little trip to the art gallery and the naval museum in Istanbul. Next one is going to be an exciting journey like this one.

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