Been living in Istanbul for 6 months, I often mistaken the city of Edirne to Edirnekapı, a district in Istanbul. Apparently Edirne lies 224km away from Istanbul and has so many histories. It all started on 125 CE when a Roman emperor, Hadrian built the city and named it Hadrianopolis after his name. But Edirne is known as the capital city of Ottomans Empire for 90 years, before Sultan Mehmed II moved the capital to Constantinople (now Istanbul).
Since I live in Turkey, traveling to Edirne was never crossed my mind, until my friend asked me to join a one day trip managed by Masyarakat Indonesia Istanbul (Indonesian Society in Istanbul). Because of the affordable cost, I immediately said yes. We rent a private bus and the 3 hours trip wasn’t boring, because we had fun singing and get to know each other.
I notice that most people have two favorite football team that they support. The first one is the team that they support undoubtedly, watch the match every weekend, and go crazy about it. The second one is the team that they support because of certain players or just because supporting only one team is not enough. For me, the first is Arsenal and the second is FC Bayern München.
To be honest, I forgot when is exactly my support for FC Bayern grew. But I know clearly why I love this team. Because I like Germany National Football Team and most of the FC Bayern players are also play for Germany NT, so yes that was one of the reason. The other reason is because Miroslav Klose and Philipp Lahm, I love to see them played with FC Bayern. But with or without them, it is always a pleasure to watch FC Bayern plays.
Centuries ago when the Ottoman Turks successfully conquest Constantinople, Eyup was their first Turkish settlement. Located just outside the city walls and near the Golden Horn, Eyup has a perfect location, then and now. The name Eyup itself comes from Abu Ayyub al-Ansari, a friend of Prophet Muhammad SAW.
Fast forward to 21st centuries, I happened to lived in the Constantinople, which have changed the name to Istanbul. On the sunny day of my winter break, I went there and explore the area as I reminisced the history.
I like to visit museum since I was young. But not gonna lie, since the Instagram day I visit museum more often and take some photos for the sake’s of my feeds. But hey, I also take some time to appreciate the work and trying to understand it. Since my moved to Istanbul, every weekend (if I am not lazy) I Googled on what place should I visit. Google came up with so many art museum suggestion. 3 months living in the city, I’ve visited 3 different art museum.
This is the first art museum I visited in Istanbul. I knew this place from an exhibition advertisement poster in the bus stop. It was the advertisement for The 15th Istanbul Biennial. I then Google it and registered for the exhibition. Istanbul Modern was one of the three exhibition venue for the event. I chose to visit Istanbul Modern because it was Turkey’s first museum of modern art.
I am a fan of anything related to royal things; princess, prince, and the palaces. This royal things always fascinated me. I always dream of visiting Palace of Versailles in France and Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany. I get excited to know more about the story behind the palaces and imagining how it looked like when real royal family still lived there.
So as a student who live in Turkey, I have the chance to visit some of the palaces. Turkey was known of its Ottoman Empire. Two of the most famous palaces are Topkapi Palace and Dolmabahce Palace. I’ve been to Topkapi Palace when I visited Istanbul back in 2015. The Topkapi Palace is not as luxurious as other palace, but this palace gave me this emotional feelings. But this time, I am going to tell about the Dolmabahce Palace.
Singapore might be a relatively small country, but this country is my favorite. I always miss the Singapore ambiance, their clean air, and their really nice transportation system. I was so happy that I could visit the country, even just for 3 days. My last trip there was to watch FC Bayern Muenchen and FC Internazionale in their fascinating National Stadium.
But my another agenda to Singapore was to take a lot of Instagram-worthy pictures. Well, since I decided to sort out my Instagram feed, I always try to find nice and artsy places whenever I travel, for the sake of Instagram. Well, I am that person.
When I went to Beijing few months ago, I didn’t really know about the tourist destination there. I did some browsing in the internet to find out what’s happening in Beijing and stumble upon Travel China Guide. The website and also my Beijing-living friend suggest to visit Summer Palace, so I put Summer Palace in my itinerary.
Summer Palace listed as UNESCO world heritage sites for being the largest and most well-preserved royal park in China. The park was built in 1750 as a retreat park for the royal families so they could rest and entertained. Then it became the main residence of royal members in the end of the Qing Dynasty.
I have visited four seasons countries before, yet I never experienced to ski. The reason are whether it is to cold or no one (means my family) wanted to accompanied me. So when I visited Beijing with my two other friends, we decided to go skiing. It was our first time ski experience!
I have research all over the internet on ski resort near Beijing. The result there were several ski resort names, Huaibei Ski Resort, Nanshan Ski Resort, Jundushan Ski Resort, and Badaling Ski Resort. From all the resort, I still did not understand how to get there. I even asked about which resort is nearest from downtown Beijing in several forums, from backpacker group in Facebook, Trip Advisor, Travel China Guide to Quora. All the answers did not well explained, so our plan to go skiing was quite blurry.
My first impression on Beijing was, “Wow pollution in Beijing are real!” because I could see all the pollution fog even at 5 am in the morning. But then as I explore the city, I had my second impression which I don’t even expected, that Beijing is seriously neat. My expectation of Beijing is that the city is crowded and messy with traffic everywhere, just like Jakarta (well, I have to say this). The reality is, Beijing is unlike Jakarta!
I am impressed with the transportation system which are so integrated. Beijingers mostly use metro and bus as their main transportation. Metro station and bus stop are everywhere in Beijing. It is also connected with most of the main road and building. If you often use this two kinds of transportation when you are in Beijing, then I suggest you to buy Beijing Transportation Smart Card (Yikatong). With the card, you don’t have to buy single ticket everywhere you go on a trip and also it offers 50% fare discount!
When I decided to go to Beijing, I have some concern about the food. From what I read in the internet, they said that it is kind of tricky to find halal food in Beijing. So, to avoid that I opt to brought some food supplies. Since I went there with another 5 people, so each people need to brought different kind of food. I, myself brought instant cream soup and dried anchovies. My friend brought instant sausage, corned beef, and meatball. And of course, all of us brought our favorite instant noodle and sachet beverages. All of the food is supplies was intended for breakfast and dinner, so we still need to find restaurants for lunch.
Since I arrived in Beijing on Friday, so all of the men need to do Friday prayer. I already research about mosque in Beijing and found this famous Mosque in Beijing, Niujie Mosque. It is located in Niujie area. If you take the metro, you have to get out exit C1 at Changchun Jie station, then continue with bus no. 10 for four stops. The mosque was surrounded with some of halal restaurant and supermarket. So, I decided to have a stop at the supermarket first to buy some foods.