Scenery Sunday :- Fatih Wednesday Market (Istanbul, Turkey)

One of my favorite things to do while traveling is blend in with the locals. This time in Istanbul, I stayed outside of the typical touristic neighborhoods and lived among locals.

On a rainy Wednesday, I stepped into the supersized outdoor market in the Fatih neighborhood of Istanbul, Turkey. I brought along my camera, shopped with the locals and walked shoulder to shoulder with them all.

Weekly markets around the world feed my curiosity; visually, mentally and physically. From the way people dress, what they eat, how they bargain and buy, how they socialize, how they react to the weather, it’s all part of the local culture. Continue reading

Travel Thought Thursday :- Reality as a Refugee

Throughout my life, I’ve seen countless people living on the streets of various cities – asking for assistance, asking for money, asking for food, asking for clothes. Some ask for a ride home. Some ask for money to buy drugs or alcohol.

They all have stories to tell.

How often have I stopped to listen, to care? Sadly, horribly – not many times.

On my recent travel through the Southeastern region of Turkey, I came across many refugees from nearby Syria. While riding long distance buses between Turkish cities of Antakya (Hatay), Sanliurfa (Urfa), Gaziantep (Antep) and Harran – I’ve seen refugee camps from afar and up close.
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Travel Tuesday :- $72 flight with Turkish Airlines from Toronto to Istanbul

YYZ to IST flight map on board Turkish airlines TK18

YYZ to IST flight map on board Turkish airlines TK18

When I was ready to book my return visit to the beautiful country of Turkey – I scoured the interweb for an amazing deal!

The average price I found for a return flight between Toronto and Istanbul was around $1200 CAD for departure in June 2014 and return in November 2014. This search for flights occurred within February 2014. As I am a keen collector of frequent flyer miles with my credit cards, as discussed in this post – I looked into the costs associated with redeeming my points for a ticket.

With my Aeroplan points, Air Canada offered a return flights for 75,000 points and approx. $400 (for tax an fees). I thought that was appalling – $400 just for taxes and fees!!
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Foodie Delights from Turkey

Turkey, the country, not the bird straddles 2 continents.

The Silk Road ran through Turkey. The famous Hagia Sophia in Istanbul (what was Constantinople) was constructed as a cathedral, then converted to be a mosque and now stands as a museum.

One can only assume the local food to mirror it’s rich history and it’s geographical location. Continue reading

Ohhh… How I miss Istanbul…

Standing in Europe looking at Asia - Love the winning combo (Istanbul, Turkey)

Standing in Europe looking at Asia – Love the winning combo!!

The abundance of delicious, fresh fruits - Istanbul, Turkey

The abundance of delicious, fresh fruits.

Oh Medusa - sculpture of Medusa is used as base of column in Basilica Cistern, Istanbul, Turkey

Oh Medusa… – sculpture of Medusa is used as base of column in Basilica Cistern

Reflections of columns inside Basilica cistern - Istanbul, Turkey

Reflections of columns inside Basilica cistern.

Symbolism at play - inside Hagia Sofia, Istanbul, Turkey

Symbolism at play – inside Hagia Sofia

Be Happy - vendor inside Grand Bazaar, Istanbul, Turkey

Be Happy – vendor inside Grand Bazaar

Stand tall - Galata tower of Istanbul, Turkey

Stand tall – Galata tower


My first time… at a Real Turkish Bath!

Photos and post by Karen Sze

Ever since my first experience of a full body Thai massage in Phuket, Thailand when I was 20 years young – I was hooked for life. This started my mainstay of self-care without me realizing it on a conscious level. Massages, reflexology, acupuncture, cupping, body scrubs, hot stone massages, deep tissue massages – the list goes on and on. After some of the treatments I would come out bruised or sore but it was all worth it because for me this was the good pain that many athletes talk about after a good workout.

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