What To Do In Antalya – Selale Restaurant

BeFunky DesignI cannot believe that I am writing the last post about Antalya. There is so much more that I want to write about this city. Istanbul overshadows the beauty of this place.

Anyway, one of the places that was on my list was Selale Restaurant. It’s a restaurant perched upon a flowing lake. You are sitting on sort of a daybed surrounded by rushing water and ducks swimming in it. Continue reading “What To Do In Antalya – Selale Restaurant”

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What To Do In Antalya – # 1 Roam Around In Kaleici

1448321351322This was suppose to be a single post. But then I realised that I cannot fit all of my writing plus the pictures in one post. So I am dividing it up. Please forgive me if you are reading about my trip even after a month. *evil grins*

Roam Around In Kaleici : 

Kaleici is the place with all the details, history and character in it. It has a story written on every corner of it. There are hidden parts of it that will surprise you the more you explore it. Continue reading “What To Do In Antalya – # 1 Roam Around In Kaleici”

Where I Stayed In Turkey

One of the biggest expenses when traveling other than airfare, is hotels. When I was searching for hotels, I was surprised at how inexpensive the hotels were in Turkey. Than I realised that I live in Qatar where pretty much everything costs a lot. But you don’t see it that way when you live here.

So here are the places I stayed in Turkey :20151030_121645

Antalya:

I had been wanting to try airbnb and rent a place from there. Airbnb is a website from where you can rent someone’s house or a room to stay in. Prices differ from place to place.

I rented this apartment solely for the view. And it did not disappoint at all.

Location: Murat Pasa, Lara Beach

Price: $40/day

We stayed for four nights. I had a coupon code sent to me previously, so I used that. And ended up paying QR 500/$140.

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All we did in Antalya was grab Coke or Coffee, sit in this balcony and stare at that view. 

What I Loved :

  1. What did I not love ? The view was stunning. Majority of our time was spent in the balcony that had a stunning view of the mountains and the ocean. Don’t even get me started on the sunsets and sunrises. Yes, I was awake for the sunrise. It was that good. Imagine a tour of the Chocolate Factory or a life time supply of Pizza.
  2. The apartment was fully equipped from coffee, makeup remover wipes to detergent.
  3. This was definitely my favourite out of all three. Did I mention the view ?

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    Bedroom in Antalya ! This is before we destroyed the place with our mess. 

Cappadocia:

Cappadoccia is made up of a number of small towns. I decided to stay in Goreme because most of the things were near it. Cappadocia is famous for it’s rock formations and there are hotels made out of them. Naturally, I wanted to stay in one of these.

A lot of the hotels I found were quiet expensive so I had to cut back and chose a more affordable hotel.

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View from our room in Goreme ! 

Hotel: Guven Cave Hotel

Location: Goreme, Cappadocia

Price: Qr 525 for 4 nights.

This is what I have to say about it.

  1. We were the only ones staying at the hotel. The service was excellent. The guy attending to us, named Umar, was very nice. He arranged everything for us, from Hot Air Balloon Ride to the Green Tour.
  2. The guy let us check out late because our flights was delayed and the shuttle was going to pick us up at 3 in the afternoon.
  3. The room we got was completely different than the one we had booked. It was a bit small. I know that he would have changed it but we never asked him. Because we arrived pretty late in the evening and we were too lazy to pack our bags again to change rooms.
  4. This hotel is situated in the middle of a hill. We both had a hard climbing it in minus temperature. Hiking is not as fun as I remembered. There are hotels that are higher up. But trust me, climbing it is hard work.

Istanbul:

Since we stayed in a modern area in Antalya, I wanted to stay on the old side i.e. Sultanahmet. All of the major attractions are here anyway.

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Love that brick wall ! View from our room in Istanbul. 

Hotel: The Constantine Hotel

Location: Gulhane, Sultanahmet

Price: I booked this through booking.com and got a discount for it. I paid around QR 900/$250 for five nights.

What I Liked:

  1. We walked to Topakapi Palace, Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque. They were that near the hotel.
  2. There was a tram station right in front of the hotel. So you could pretty much go anywhere.
  3. The hotel gave us an upgrade since there was a problem with our room the day we arrived.
  4. Everything else was great. The location in my opinion was amazing.
  5. The breakfast spread was pretty good as well.

I did not want to spend a lot on hotels because I knew that we would be spending a lot on shopping since we had so many to people to buy for.

Like I said, hotels are pretty cheap in Istanbul. None of the above places are five star, just because we care more about the country we visit, rather than the place we stay in. If you like a bit more comfort and glamour, feel free to stay wherever you want. It all depends on what kind of vacation you want.

Hope this helps you in planning your holiday in Turkey.

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Letters To The Moon # 12 (Travel Edition)

View from the apartment we were staying in Antalya, Turkey.
View from the apartment we were staying in Antalya, Turkey.

October 31, 2015

Dear Moon,

I am sitting on a bright blue couch in Antalya, Turkey right now. There are floor to ceiling windows on my left and I can see the sea from where I sit. The mountains are right behind it, posing as a perfect backdrop.

The moment I saw Antalya, I was transported back to my childhood, to Anna’s (my grandma) house in Waah Cantt. You see the lust of building skyscrapers hasn’t hit Antalya yet. It is green, everywhere. I absolutely love it.

Moon, you were ignored today because your other half was in full glory. I saw a sunset that is very rare in my part of the world. I cannot imagine what it is like to wake up to this view and go to sleep with that sunset. I am sure that I will spend all my time out on that balcony. Staying in this apartment instead of a hotel was the best decision I have ever made.

This vacation is already to a great start. We ditched all our plans for the day, took a long two hour nap, completely messed up our sleeping patterns and just sat on the balcony. Did I mention that we also ate the most incredible Pizza for lunch.

What I am loving the most is the peace and quiet. We are staying in a residential area and there is a main road right in front of it. But all I can hear is the blissful silence.

Antalya, you have already made me fall in love with you. I cannot wait to discover you more.

Adieu !

S

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How To Plan Your Travels

Who doesn’t love traveling ? I can live out of a suitcase 320 days of the year, if my unemployed pocket gave me that permission. Nonetheless, I try my best to at least visit one country in an year. As I am in the process of planning our yearly vacation, I decided to write down everything that I find helpful while figuring out everything. So here are my top tips. DSCN3326

  1. Start Right Now:

When it comes to travelling, just start planning it right now. Now planning does not mean, booking hotels, flights or tours. Just figure out what dates you are free in.  And when it would suit you to take some time off. Trust me, there will be things like a cousin’s wedding or other half’s annual meeting in the way. You think that you will be free but you never know.

2. Set A Budget:

Decide how much your pocket can afford to spend in order to satisfy your inner wanderer. This will help you cut down the destinations you had in mind, resulting in an easier decision of where to go. Even with budgets, keep a little wiggle room. You never know when an unexpected expense might arise. It could be a handmade Persian rug or renting a car due to cancelled domestic flights.

3. Check All Your Documents:

If you are not a frequent traveler, please check all your documents. Expired passports, no exit permits, outdated RP etc has happened before. Official things take a lot of time. So your passport renewal might take a month or two and a lot of hassle. That just means, losing precious Istanbul weather and beating the shit out of the guy who suggested we go in November.

4. Deciding A Location:

This is the hardest thing to do because there are way too many options. But then airfares and amount of time you have comes in. Me and my husband can never agree on a single place. This time, I left the choice up to him since he is not much of a traveler. ( I know, it’s a very sad story. I am trying my best to convert the guy) Despite that, he changed his mind ten times going from Greece to Cyprus to Malaysia to Thailand.Screenshot (16)

5. Check The Weather:

The biggest mistake you can make is not checking the weather before hand. Hence, if you are going to Malaysia in October, there is a high chance you might end up staying in the hotel 24/7 or seeing the Petronas Towers dripping wet with rain.

6. Set Your Priorities :

You can do this after your have decided the country to visit or do this before. This basically means, deciding what you want out of your travels. Do you want a relaxed holiday or want to visit all the landmarks that you can. My priorities are usually, food, shopping, adventure, sightseeing, locals and bookstores. Though this time, the other half decided that he wanted a bit of history, good architecture, something different that he would never normally consider.

7. Decide Your Problems :

You need to think of any problems that may arise in the country you are traveling too. This might not be a thing for everyone. But for a Desi like me it is. Country relationships are not always the best which results in visa rejections. Or unnecessary checks at the airport (which mean that your vacation is over before it even began). Also, as a Muslim, I have to think about things like Halal food or places to pray at.

8.Take A Break From the Internet :

Yes, I know the internet is a wonderful place. It lets you have a vacation before you have booked anything. But just get your hands off that things to do in Stockholm button. The fun of traveling is in not knowing what the country has to offer and than being surprised.

9. Have Fun:

At the end of the day, you are traveling because you love it. So no matter where you end up or how you end up there, smile and just have fun. Go and explore the city, forget your itinerary for an afternoon. Breathe in that air because you are standing underneath the same sky, on the same ground but everything else is different. The history behind it is different.

No matter how you plan your traveling adventures, the journey will always be great. It will teach you something new, open your eyes to different cultures and different people. So simply travel.

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