My latest trip to Istanbul was amazing. I had my mum constantly on my back asking me to cancel my tickets because it was dangerous in Turkey. I would have canceled but I would not have been able to get a refund on my hotel and plane ticket. So I decided to not think about it too much and just stick to tourist areas.
My first stop in Istanbul was Hagia Sophia, which was a former church and now mosque. The interior was beautiful, but a lot of areas were under maintenance. The inside had a combination of Christian and Muslim murals.
We stopped by Aloran Cage and Restaurant for dinner with some Turkish tea. The cafe was really friendly and the cost of their meals were reasonably priced. At the end of dinner they gave my friend I a evil eye charm, which was very sweet of them to do so.
I bought the cheapest ticket for Broadway. I am a tourist on a budget! I saw Derek Hough from Dancing with the Stars while I was walking to the theater. I was actually quite surprised as I was not expecting to see a celebrity during my trip. There was lots of kids surrounding him, so I couldn’t get a good photo.
My seat was at the very back of the theater. I thought I wouldn’t be able to see anything but I was wrong. The seats were not as bad as I thought it would be. The theater itself was not as huge like a concert. The show was fantastic and the Genie actor was really funny. The outfit and the setting of stage was excellent. I enjoyed my Broadway experience.
Here I am at the famous Time Square. I had to force my friend to take a photo with me. Since my friend lives in in NY close to Time Square, I don’t think she was excited as I was during photo time.
Time Square day time
We lunch at Harry’s in downtown New York. We went for the unlimited champagne brunch. I have never been to a brunch place that serves unlimited champagne! Early in the afternoon we started drinking. It’s been 9 years since I last saw my friend. So champagne was a good way to catch up on the 9 years!
After brunch we took a walk down to the Wall Street Bull and around down town area. It lovely day to walk around and see the city.
I bought a 2 day Big Bus tour. It was the easiest way to get around New York without getting lost. Hop on and hop off spots were exactly the areas I wanted to go to. After the tour ended at 5pm, I went to walk around at Fifth Avenue. It was snowing and it was so hard to walk, so I gave up shopping for an early dinner.
On the Big Bus
MTV on the second floor above Oakley
New York public Library
Frozen fountain at Bryant Park
St. Patrick’s Cathedral
Walking on the snow
Walking through downtown. The streets were less crowded during the weekend compared to midtown. There was so many financial buildings and made me wonder what it would feel like to work in a financial area. I guess it would be a lot of stress but then what work has no stress, right?!
I love the architecture of the building. The style is so New York and that’s what I love about it. As I was walking I saw a building with a fire escape outside of the building. This reminds me of all the movies I see filmed in New York. This is definitely something you won’t see in other countries.
Later the afternoon we went battery park. We bought some coffee and sat at the park. We could see Statue of Liberty from afar. While sitting at the park drinking coffee and chatting felt so peaceful.
New York Stock Exchange
Statue of Liberty
I made a short trip to New York to visit my high school friend. The Statue of Liberty was a must go place on my New York list.
I bought tickets and the tickets included a trip to Ellis Island. It took pretty much one whole afternoon to do Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.
I sat at the top of the statue cruise as I wanted to take some photos. But the top of the cruise was so so so cold! My fingers were like ice cold and it hurt to even press the button my phone. I didn’t expect the top of the cruise to be this cold! I still enjoyed the experience.
Ellis Island back in the days was a stop for immigrants to be inspected. Now the island is a museum with lots and lots of tourists.
New York City
Leaving Statue of Liberty to Ellis Island
View from inside of the building
Inside the Ellis Island building
What the inside looked like back in the days
St Patrick’s Cathedral in Melbourne was another tourist spot on my list. The cathedral looked small on the outside, but it was actually bigger than I expected. I love the cathedral architecture. It gives this European atmosphere.
I could see 12 apostles. I saw really small apostles, so I am not sure if that is counted as an apostle. There were so many tourists and it was really hard to get a great photo. The wind was so strong. My hair was flying all over the place. If you plan to see the apostles bring a hat!
Everyone walking to see the apostles
Random interesting car
We joined tour group and went to Loch Ard Gorge. The view was so beautiful. I haven’t seen a view like this before. Joining the tour was really worth it. The weather was very cold. I was wearing long sleeves the whole day even though it was summer.
Walked around the city after having a late brunch. A very relaxing day and it feels awesome. Melbourne pace is so slow compared to Asia. People are not in a rush and life style seems laid back. I could totally picture myself living in Melbourne!
So no trip is actually complete without visiting the Museum. I don’t why, but all the trips I take end up with a visit to the museum. It’s always interesting to see learn about the history of the city/country.
While I was buying tickets, I got asked for my student card. For a minute I was actually excited as someone thought I was still a student. Unfortunately, I am passed my student years! The museum tickets cost about $12 for adults.
So at one point in time we all came from Africa
Different type writers through out the time
Peak-a-boo…i see you
$12 adult ticket
Happy belated New Years! I was busy traveling during New Years so I’m only managing to post this now. I guess New Years is pretty much the same everywhere. Fire works and more fire works. I did not make any new year resolutions. Hope I don’t regret. Well… I do have a goal which is to get fit and start going to the gym. So far I have not made it to the gym yet. I feel like I am still on holiday!
It was really dark and I had a difficult time to taking a selfie on my phone as you just couldn’t see my face. So my friend and I stood on the same spots taking lots and lots of selfie trying to get the right angle with the right lights. Then suddenly this old guys says to us ” girls how many selfies do you want to take.” At that I realized I must have taken too many selfies! Here is my so called selfies!
Everyone waiting for fire works!
Everyone leaving after fire works are over
I went to visit a friend in Melbourne for Christmas and New Years. We took a train to Altona to have a BBQ with my friend’s co-worker and friends. The train ride was pretty empty. Probably everyone was already at home with family so the train pretty much was empty.
We had lamb, baked potatoes and some veggie for lunch. I’m not much of a cook, but I manage to help out peeling the potatoes. So I felt quite good contributing to something involving cooking. After lunch we took a walk at Altona beech. The beech was just beautiful, but it was extremely cold. I did not expect it to me so cold in summer. I guess the beach water and wind made it very cold. Even though it was cold, I still loved standing on the beech looking at the beautiful pier!
I hope you all had a lovely Christmas or holiday!
Out cafe hunting today. Ordered a cup of salted caramel latte. It actually tasted nice. There was this sweet and salty taste to the latte. It’s definitely a flavor I recommend people to try out.
(left) Tiramisu Latte / (right) Salted caramel latte
Forced him to take a photo with his pancake