Monday, January 27, 2014

Expect the Unexpected

Who knows the first time I would be admitted to hospital is here, in Cork, thousand kilometres away from beloved family. He is the best planner, after all. I'm not sure what lies for me in future, but I know I should prepare for it. 
O Allah make things easier for us, do not make things difficult for us.O Allah, let our affairs end with goodness.

Should write about those days in hospital, but too many things to be settled. and yes, I am still recovering.

Till then,

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Travelogue: Berlin

(wrote this a year ago and left in in drafts)

Berlin. It wasn't on my winter trip's plan initially. Since we need to transit for Istanbul flight, so I said, why not? and yeah, here came Berlin to our mind.  So I would say, Berlin is an amazing city. I fall in love with it the moment my foot stepped on it. o wait, am I too much? xD OK, I think I should start being serious and stop rambling.

My flight to Berlin, Schoenefeld airport to be precise, departed at 1700 from Aerfort Baile Atha Cliath (Dublin Airport) and we arrived there five to 8pm. It's already dark at the moment but all that we know was to find a train-S Bahn- to Parkow (S9). Then, we went to Tourist Information at the airport and bought a Berlin Welcome Card for which cost Euro20. I know it's kind of expensive but it covers Part A, B, C of Berlin, including public transports and discounts on many interesting places here. 

The funny part is that we met a Malaysian there.

A: Hey, are you looking for a bus to city center.Us: No, we're going to take train. Do u know where can we validate this card?A: Just go straight. Depan tu jer ( at this moment, we still didn't realized he's speaking Malay)Us: Err ok thanks.A: Eh, Malaysian larUs: Lah, Malaysian ke? *laughed*
and our destination is the last stop: Parkow. and then we take bus N27 to Prizenalle.

We got lost to find "Inn Berlin" for almost 1 hour -.-' It's really hard to find people who're able to speak English. Alhamdulillah, we finally found it and it was so frustrating to know that the inn's really near to bus stop. Like, it was just in front of our eyes when we got off from the bus. We were greeted by Mr Ralph (can I call him uncle), which I found a really sweet gentleman. The inn was very comfortable, I would say, and yes affordable. Without any doubt, I highly recommended it! So go and check Inn Berlin if you're planning to visit Berlin. Mr Ralph then showed us the map of Berlin and suggested places to visit. It was very very helpful and gave us the overall idea about Berlin and the transportation system. and yeah, from there we knew we're supposed to buy Berlin Welcome Card. Group cards would be a way cheaper. But it's okay, we're going to use it fully :)

"and tomorrow would be an another day, an interesting day to discover Berlin" a whisper to myself before sleep :)

We took bus to U-Bahn (U stands for underground)- it's only 5 min walk, but told ya that we;re going to use the card fully, so we took the bus, teehee- It's Panktrasse station if I was not mistaken and we headed to East Art Gallery. To go there, we need to change the train  a few times, which I couldn't remember. All you need to have is a map.and here we go:

East Side  Gallery. Basically, it's an open-air gallery and consists of paintings and murals on the 1.3 km long wall. Those painting are from artists all over the world, painted in 1990 on the east side of the Berlin Wall.  However, some of the painting have been  destroyed by vandalism and grafitti. 
One of the most iconic paintings is Der Bruderkuss by Dmitri Vrubel, which shows the fraternal kiss between former Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev and East German Prime Minister Eric Honecker. Euw! I didn't take the picture of the painting, google it of you wanna see.

and we also played snow along the way xD
and we walked until we reached a bridge, Oberbaumbrücke“; and a souvenirs shop
Then, we took the train to join the free tour. It was the best ways to get to know Berlin. it;s 3.5 hours walking tours and it covers most of the main sites and stories. It's start at Bredenburg Gate (Brandenburger Tor in Germany). These are the places that we covered:  1. Bredenburg Gate/ Bredenburger tor

2. Holocaust memorial or Memorial to the murdered jews

3. Over Hitler's Bunker (it's just a car park actually). It is believed that Hitler and his GF, Eva Braiun got married shortly before they committed suicide.

4. SS Headquarters. It is used to be a center of occupation of the red soldiers (Solvet Union). The building also is said to have some tragic values to the Germans, where the issue of massive rape came. "The women of German are yours"- this is one of the quotation by a important person in Soviet troops. 

5. The Wall of Berlin, which divides the east and the west of Berlin. It was built in just one night.

6. Checkpoint Charlie. Basically, it's a symbol of America's occupation. The portrait was not really an important person but he just a man who was wearing the army's uniform.

7. Gendarmenmarkt. it is one of the famous square in Berlin, and the site of the Konzerthaus and the French and German Cathedrals. French and German Cathedrals are quite similar but Germans architects purposely make the German cathedral 1 meter taller.

8. Book Burning Memorial

9. Bebelplatz

10. Lustgarten

and some few places that I'd already forgot.

So, I would say, Berlin is a very very exciting places to visit. a very historic place. as I just go the historic part of Berlin. There're actually loads of other thing to discover here. They say nightlife (nightclubs, pubs) here is a world class. Errr. and they got one of largest designers store in Europe (didn't have a chance to go). and yeah, the foodstuff in Berlin is so so cheap. a way a cheaper than in Ireland. Like half price compared to Cork. So unfair. Sobs :(

Would love to go again. InshaAllah

Travelogue: Istanbul

(wrote this a year ago, but I didn't post this until today)

Istanbul. Byzantium or Constantinople. Call it with any name but it is undeniably a great city. It is divided by 2 parts, European and Asian continents and separated by a breathtaking Bosphorus straits, which encompasses the natural harbour  known as Golden Horn. Oh there're plenty to share about Istanbul, but hey, make sure you put Istanbul in your places-to-visit.

Going here is not the same as other places. A great Islam civilization once, which is Ottoman Empire started here. Getting to know the Constantinople,Ottomans' history is a must before you start your journey :)

I would say that Istanbul is a city, that must be visited by an adventure seeker, kebab lover (kebab's restaurants are everywhere!) and most importantly, a person who truly appreciate a good old history. especially the muslims!

Oh I think I should start with food pictures. OMG I'm drooling.. Halal food is everywhere. Heaven!

Here we go darlings :P ( Maybe I should contain my over-dose excitement. Teehee)

We arrived International Sabiha Gocken Airport in the evening and straight to our shuttle van to our hostel. Met a few Malaysians at the airport (yeah, Malaysians are everywhere). and I met a little cutie, who tried to snatch my luggage. Hahaha. She's into red items, I suppose. MashaAllah, she's too adorable.

After done with our hotel check-ins, we headed to restaurant for dinner. Yum. Yum. The worst part was, we're being manipulated by the owner of the restaurant. 24 lira per head. -.-" No wonder we got free baklava (a type of dessert-one of turkish delights) However, the dishes was superb. I whispered to myself, redha je la, rezeki pak cik tu :)

I'm not intending to describe a single detail of my jaulah here. I'm gonna keep the story short and the leave it to those that have Istanbul in their list. These are some places that we visited;

1. Domabahche Sarayi (Domabache Palace)

Crazy. That was my first thought. It's just too much. The palace was ordered by Sultan Abdul Mecid I and it cost about 35 tonnes of golds. It is said that the money was supposed to built a warship as the country was at stake at the moment. This palace consists of 3 main parts, which are Selamlik (the official part of the palace), Harem (the sultan and his family's residential)  and ceremonial hall.  It contains 285 rooms, 46 halls, 6 baths (hamam) and 68 toilets. The infamous Attaturk also died here. 

Overall, I would say, the palace is so beautiful and luxurious but as I said before, it's just too much and unnecessary. As I walk around in the palace, I couldn't help from feeling sad. Is it sad? I just don't know how to describe the feeling, but it just feel like, why he did this?

2. Blue Mosque

We spent a few hours here. It's just too peaceful being here. Plus, it's chilling outside with heavy snow. The feeling of being able to hear azan, pray and tadarus in the mosque is just indescribable. (I never have a chance to go to mosque in cork)

3. Hagia Sophia or Aya Sophia

It was once a famous Orthodox cathedral, later a mosque and now a museum. I amazed to the fact the church was transformed to a mosque. Inside, we can see the mixture of church & Islamic architecture.

4. Topkapi Sarayi

It's huge, consists of lots of rooms, which now are exhibition rooms (museum). I spent a few hours here. 

5. Spice Bazzaar and Grand Bazaar.

Spice Bazaar is a lot cheaper if you wanna buy tudung, scarves, shawls, skirts and of course, you really need to be good at bargaining. 

Those are the top 5 places to go if you to Istanbul. But if you stay longer, why not explore more. 


So it's 2014. I somehow can't believe that I'm now unofficially 22 years old. Older, yes and with much more responsibilities. Hoping to be a better muslimah inshaAllah.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...