Discover Istanbul Part 2

Turkey is well known for their hand woven carpets, their leather products, nuts and dried fruit, marble tiles and ceramics.

We had the fortunate opportunity to see how these carpets were made, from scratch! It can take weeks or even up to months for multiple ladies to make one carpet. I was absolutely blown away by their skill and precise hand work to form these intricate patterns on the carpets.  I am no carpet expert but I could see and feel the quality and softness of these hand woven gems from a mile away!

After our carpet shopping experience we got whisked away to a shop that boasts one of Turkey’s major exports – their leather. Crafted with the best workmanship, quality and stitching you know buying a leather jacket in Turkey will last you a lifetime!  We were very impressed with their styles, fashion forward cuts and stud detail on some designs.. We had our own private fashion show, what an incredible experience!

After our shopping we were craving some Turkish coffee, hubby was adamant he wanted to make it himself!

Another historical stop was at the Dolmabahce Palace built in 19th century.  This is by far one of the most glamorous palaces in the world.  “Dolmabahçe Palace was built by Sultan Abdulmecid (1839-1861) who was the thirty first Ottoman Sultan. The palace, whose construction commenced on June 13th, 1843, was brought into use on June 7th, 1856, upon completion of surrounding walls. The palace mainly consists of three parts, named as the Imperial Mabeyn (State Apartments), Muayede Salon (Ceremonial Hall) and the Imperial Harem. The Imperial Mabeyn was allocated for administrative affairs of the state, Imperial Harem was allocated for private lives of the sultan and his family and the Muayede Salon, placed between these two sections, was allocated for exchanging of bayram greetings of sultan with dignitary statesmen and for some important state ceremonies. The main building is three storey including the basement on the side which is parallel to sea and it is four storey at the land side involving the Harem quarters with the musandıra (garret) storeys.” – http://www.millisaraylar.gov.tr/portalmain-en/Palaces.aspx?SarayId=16

 

Images from Internet source Images from Internet source 
Images from Internet source 

Onto our favourite part of the day, lunch. Turkey is full of street cafe’s offering various foods for every palate.  We decided to try some street food – the famous “Baked Potato”.  Spoilt with an array of fillings these soft baked potatoes are drenched in butter and cheese before you start choosing your filling.  The portions are very generous and very well priced for what you get!

  

Our next excursion took us on a relaxing cruise on the Bosphorus. This was such a nice way of seeing many more historical landmarks while sipping on an ice cold drink.  It was kind of weird seeing Asia on the one side and Europe on the other, that will definitely be a travel moment I will cherish!  If seafood is your thing the river side restaurants on the Bosphorus has the best seafood restaurants in town!

  

The next day we strolled through the streets of Istanbul leading us to the famous Galata Tower.  This tower is one of the highest and oldest towers in Istanbul standing at 63 meters high and offering beautiful panoramic views.  The Galata tower was built in the 14th century by the Genoese colony as part of the defense wall surrounding their district at Galata. They called the tower “Tower of Christ”.  The Genoese traded with the Byzantines and the tower was used for the surveillance of the Harbor in the Golden Horn.

The first flying Turk was Hezarfen Ahmet Celebi, during the Ottoman empire of the 17th century. He studied air flows and copied bird wings then jumped from the Galata Tower!  He flew over the Bosphorus and landed on the Asian side, he traveled for about 6 kilometers.

A few last stops before we had to head back to the hotel.

 Chocolate anyone!?Enjoying some Kestae/Roasted Chestnuts I had Kunefe after EVERY meal! Delicious!

 

Travelling back home on Turkish Airlines we were welcomed in their award winning lounge.  Their lounge is accessible to all their business class, Miles & Smiles elite and Elite Plus members (business or economy), Star alliance members (who can bring a guest in!) and Turkish Airlines Corporate Club members.  The first thing that caught our eye was all the entertainment that was on offer inside this gigantic lounge spreading across two floors, not to mention all the extra bells and whistles.  By bells whistles I mean – sleeping rooms, unfortunately there are few regulations in using these rooms so please find out before you head off looking for a room! Each section of the lounge offered its only special feel – there were multiple dining areas, a TV room with nine large televisions and headphones to listen in and loads of spaces to just relax.  There is wifi and showers in the lounge as well as cubicles with locks to store any luggage. Unfortunately the kitchen closed at 12 midnight so I can’t tell you about the food.

   

         

Myself and hubby ventured to find some entertainment and behold they had a golf simulator! I decided to occupy one of the lie-flat massage chairs while he was swinging a few clubs. They also had video games, scalextric, a kids play area and a cinema.  The whole family was happy!

 

We had such an adventurous time in this beautiful city..

Thanks Istanbul xxx

 

 

 

A City Sleek Babyshower

Move over Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda, there is a new spot in town everyone is talking about..

I couldn’t have chosen a better venue to celebrate the coming of baby number 2.   I was looking for sophisticated glamour, a central position, great service but above all exquisite views and that is just what the Pepperclub hotel and spa offered.

Centrally located in Loop Street this 5 star hotel offers studio, one, two and three bedroom apartments. Let’s not forget the stunning presidential and Penthouse suites… and this is off course where my party celebrations kicked off.

A stunning 3 bedroom suite with a lounge, dining room, fully equipped kitchen, outside patio and private swimming pool with 360 degree city views – I couldn’t have chosen a better setting.

Delicious canapés and drinks was served all throughout the day while we sat back, relaxed and chatted the day away..

If you are looking for luxury, great service, delicious food and centrally located within all the hip and happening of what Cape Town has to offer, the Pepperclub Hotel and Spa will be your place to go.

Thanks to the Pepperclub Hotel and Spa for hosting us and making this day so special!

 

Check out their deals and packages here!

 

 

Techniblock Sunscreen ~ Review

As we get ready to pack for our beach holiday I venture off to our local supermarket to buy the most important thing – Sunscreen!

I spot a bottle of Techniblock which was on special so I bought a big spray bottle for myself and the “kids” one for my two year old.

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Discover Istanbul

A family holiday to Istanbul on the prestigious Turkish Airlines is just what the doctor ordered.  As we pack our bags we are not sure what to expect from this unique city.  I could only start imagining colourful, vibrant markets and street cafe’s with Turkish water pipes and delicious kebabs.

As we make ourselves comfortable in our seats we are greeted by our on-board chef, the menu looks delicious! Turkish airlines is the only airline that offers a candle light dinner – in air!  So we make ourselves comfortable for the night’s sleep in the fully reclinable seats.  As the morning sun rays beams through the windows we couldn’t help but wake up with an exciting heart, we are almost in Istanbul, we got served a beautiful hot breakfast with some delicious coffee before we descent into Istanbul.

      

Upon arrival at our hotel we quickly unpacked our bags, had a shower (I had a bath – I am from Cape Town hahaha) and slipped into comfy clothes before we ventured out to explore Istanbul.  Our first stop had to involve food so our kind tour giude, Mehmet, took us to his favourite spot. ” No need to look at the menu or order anything”, Mehmet says with a smile on his face – they will bring you a bit everything to taste.  We didn’t even sit for a minute when the food started filling up our table!  We had a proper feast in proper Turkish style and if I should say so myself it was the best Turkish kebabs I have ever tasted.

       

After our delightful lunch we took a short cable car ride up the Pierre Loti hill and enjoyed some home brewed Turkish coffee with a stunning view of Istanbul.

      

We also visited Minaturk which is a place that exhibits the “mini treasures” found in Turkey, there are about 105 models done in 1/25th scale.  Half of them are from Istanbul and the rest from Anatolia and the Ottoman territories outside of Turkey.  This is a great way to see all the attractions in and around Turkey if you don’t have enough time to physically go visited all these historical sights!

On the seond day we started our adventures off in the city center sqaure of Turkey called Beyazit Square.  This was  previously known as Freedom square and is home to many shops, the Istanbul University, State Library and Beyazit mosque. It is close to the Grand baazar. From here you can take a tram to famous Sultanahmet district.  It is one of the most beautiful squares of Istanbul’s history. From here we walked to the Spice Bazaar en got to explore and discover all the rich textures, flavours, sights and sounds the traditional Turkey has to offer.  We tasted true traditional Turkish sweets, tea’s, oils, spices, nuts, dried fruits, textiles.. the list goes on and on and on!

      

After our market shopping we walked though the small historical streets paved with cobble stones, it was warm en buzzing with people, there is so much culture and so many traditional shops around every corner.  We often replenished our energy with some super freshly squeezed juices available everywhere. Our last stop for the day was Topkapi palace, this palace served as the main residence in the 15th century and administrative headquarters of the Ottoman sultans. It is now a large museum and forms part of the historic areas of Istanbul.  Topkapi means Cannon Gate, this name was given in the 19th century.  Only  a a few of the rooms are open to public to view, there is also a museum collection which also includes Ottoman clothing, weapons, armor, miniatures, religious relics, and the Topkapi manuscript.  The views from Topkapi palace is really amazing as you can see the Bosphorus strait which separates Europe from Asia

      

Be sure to visit the Konyali Lokantasi restaurant when you are at Topkapi Palace, the food and views are incredible!

 

Just some tips when visiting Istanbul:

 

  • Make sure you have Turkish money on you when you arrive at the airport for the luggage trollies! They cost 1 Lira each, luckily we did find a money exchange kiosk within the arrival terminal for this.
  • Don’t take any pictures of the cabin crew on Turkish airlines – it’s against their airline policy and you can get into big trouble for this!
  • If you are pregnant and traveling on Turkish airlines make sure your letter from the Doctor states clearly that you are healthy and fit to fly, how many weeks you are and that your letter is stamped according to the Turkish airlines rules and regulations (They differ from other airlines). I was sadly almost rejected to board my flight back home due to the fact that I didn’t have the correct stamp.
  • It’s best to have a translator app on your phone as we found that many people (including restaurant staff couldn’t speak English)
  • If you buy stuff from the markets double check your parcels and boxes before they seal it.  We got a few extra unwanted, paid for, surprises when we opened our box at home.
  • Always bargain at he markets!

Did you know:

Istanbul is the only city in the world that straddles two continents: Asia and Europe.

Istanbul is built on seven hills to match the seven hills of Rome.

Under the Ottoman Empire, the city was renowned for having more than 1,400 public toilets

While not the capital, Istanbul is Turkey’s  largest city with more than 13 million people – 99 per cent of which are Muslim.

Snow is common in the city!

Istanbul is home to the most mosque in Turkey. It has 3,113 mosques, including the historical Sultanahmet Mosque and the Süleymaniye Mosque.

Sultanahmet or the Old City is where most of the famous historical sights of Istanbul are located.

The Grand Bazaar in operation since 1461, is one of the oldest and largest covered markets in the world with 60 streets and 5,000 shops. It attracts between 250,000 and 400,000 visitors daily.

Istanbul is famous for its historic seafood restaurants. The Kumkapı neighbourhood along the Sea of Marmara alone houses some 50 fish restaurants, and many of the city’s restaurants line the shores of the Bosphorus.

Istanbul is the world’s top destination in the 2014 Traveller’s’ Choice Destinations awards, voted for by millions of holiday makers, ahead of Paris, New York, Rome and London

On my next blog I will share some more shopping tips, handmade carpets, leather jackets, more food and our expereince on Turkish Airlines returning home!

Stay tuned..

Phone Protection – It’s a Clear Cut Case

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Phone Protection – It’s a Clear Cut Case

The much-anticipated local launch of the iPhone X is upon us. Apple’s 10th anniversary offering is loaded with plenty of high-end hardware and new features, including Face ID that unlocks the phone when users look at it, and wireless charging.

But getting the latest smartphone in-hand is only half the battle won. Sure, you’ll have the best technology at your fingertips, but all that will mean nothing if your device is not adequately protected – and personalised (a floral touch is not for everyone, after all).

Moshi, a San Francisco-based lifestyle brand, and a global leader in mobile accessories, gives us the lowdown on choosing the right cover for your phone.

Supreme Screen

If you’re going to buy a screen protector, go for one that’s designed specifically for your device – and make sure it’s durable, shock-proof and scratch-proof. With the high cost of repairing an iPhone screen (and repairing the new iPhone X’s screen set to be more expensive than any of the previous versions), it’s a good idea to have a solid case at hand. You wouldn’t want to be one of the 23%* of iPhone users walking around with a cracked screen – it’s not a good look! You’ll also want to choose a screen protector that’s as thin as possible with rounded edges (like Moshi’s AirFoil Glass) so that screen clarity and touch sensitivity is maintained.

Oh flip

Flip-open or wallet-style covers are stylish and pocket-friendly. They’re a particularly good option if you intend on transporting your phone in a bag, because they offer all-round protection. Wallet cases also allow you to carry your cards, cash, and iPhone in one sleek form factor. Plus, they double as convenient stands for watching videos and browsing the web. When choosing a wallet case, make sure it has a weather-proof and durable exterior and a shatter-proof frame. Also, make sure all buttons and cameras remain fully accessible so you don’t need to remove your iPhone to take photos or videos.

Slim & Clear Cases

Many iPhone lovers choose to go cover-free because they don’t want to ruin the inherent beauty of a slim, sleek phone – especially when they select a metallic finish that they love. The good news is that some of the latest sleek cases mimic the look of an iPhone, and in the ultimate fusion of design and functionality, offer drop-protection. When choosing a sleek case, make sure you don’t skimp on quality that will leave your phone exposed. Another bonus that the Moshi covers have over other brands is that the case is made of a hybrid material instead of pure silicon that tends to turn yellow over time.

 

Convinced? Here are Moshi’s top picks to fit your phone and your lifestyle:

  1. For the girls who set trends

– Vesta X in Bahama Blue, Herringbone Grey or Blossom Pink

This protective patterned case, made from fabric and with a metal frame, will add a touch of chic to your phone. The ultra-slim design allows you to show off your new toy and the TriClear coating makes sure your device is protected from dirt and scratches while in your handbag. What’s more, if your foundation or any other make-up product gets on the case, don’t stress about stains – all you need to do is wipe off the case with a cloth.

 

  1. Calling all adventure seekers

– Moshi Running Kit or Biking Kit

Tired of having your phone damaged with every jog or jump? Moshi has the solution to getting the perfect picture or action clip without damaging your phone. Each kit is made using HexCore architecture to protect your phone from falls, as well as a quick-release function for when you need to access your device.

 

  1. The glam guide

– iGlaze X in Armour Black, Pearl White or Taupe Pink

Looking for an accessory that will add instant glam to your iPhone? Look no further than the iGlaze – its sleek, glossy look will fit right into your urban lifestyle.

  1. Social media stars, this one’s for you

– Vitros X in Crystal Clear, Raven Black, Jet Silver, Orchid Pink or Crimson Red

An affordable cover for those who like options, Vitros comes in a range of fun colours with a high-gloss finish. Your phone remains fully functional even when it’s laid flat, thanks to the raised bezel.

 

  1. Why so serious?

– StealthCover X in Champagne Pink or Gunmetal grey

This magnetic cover offers 360° protection, allows you to check your notifications without opening the cover, and its sophisticated design looks great paired with a suit and tie.

  1. Catch me on the move

Overture X in Caramel Brown, Luna Pink or Charcoal Black

An all-round organiser, this leather wallet case has space for three cards and features a folding stand for watching videos on-the-go. It doesn’t stop you from accessing your buttons or camera either. What more could you want?

Where to find Moshi

Moshi phone covers and accessories are available at the following stores in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Pretoria: Digicape, Digital Experience, New World, as well as online at Shop and Ship and Takealot.com. To view additional authorised resellers, go to www.moshi.com/where-to-buy

 

* https://www.cnet.com/news/quarter-of-iphones-have-a-broken-screen-says-new-poll

Ends

More information about Moshi …..

Moshi is serious about product design. A rarity in the accessories business, all of Moshi’s products – including tooling – are designed in-house, from the ground up. These factors are key in ensuring that every Moshi product is consistently of the utmost quality, reasonably priced and unique from what is commonly found in the marketplace.

International presence

Moshi began with one product – a camera pouch – and today produces more than 450 products in an array of categories, ranging from phone cases, screen protectors and portable batteries, to audio cables, adapters and travel essentials. The brand has a sales footprint across all continents and its products can be found in more than 80 countries. Plus, it has enjoyed a presence in South Africa for over seven years.

 

Hello Carzar

There are a few phrases I very much dislike in life, like for example “Sold out”, “Insufficient funds” or when a sales person replies with a plain,”I don’t know”,  or when you get to one of ten tills at a supermarket and only one is operating and of course when you have to think about selling your car.. where do you go?!

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I recently had an incredible (first bad, then good experience) with the latter.. I jumped on the first few sites on my always-reliable search engine, but after a few dodgy phone calls and failed attempts to pitch for their viewings, my trust in potential buyers failed miserably.  To my great relief a friend suggested to try Carzar.  What else did I have left to loose in this frustrating situation, I might as well jump all in, after all bad experiences comes in three – they say…

I logged onto their website, filled in my details and less than a minute later I had to confirm a date and time for an inspector to come inspect my car.  Sitting there in my chair I asked myself what is the catch, can it be so easy?  So quick?  And so convenient to sell my Car?  The date and time arrived, the inspector came and assessed and I was left in awe as he offered me cash on the spot for my little sparkly-oh-so-trustworthy-karretjie.  It was more than I bargained for.. Still I was left thinking what is the catch?  “No catch Mam”, the inspector replied as he could clearly read my bedazzled and confused face.  “This is who we are and this is what we do”, he replied with a very big smile showing of his pearly whites.  Off course he had every right to do so because he just confirmed that Carzar is indeed the best option for anyone to sell their car.

My car has long been sold, for far more than what I bargained for and still I think there must be a catch..  Technically the expiry date for the “catch” has long gone so this is why I can highly recommend the brilliant service of the oh-so-trustworthy and professional service of Carzar..

Give them a try..

You wont regret it!

Click here to check them out

Till next time xoxo

 

The Silo Hotel SPA Experience

Now the thing about the Silo Hotel is, it’s not just a hotel.. It’s an experience.. I have stayed in probably more than ten thousand hotels in my life to say that this one is.. well.. different.

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