Thursday, May 31, 2012

A smile speaks a thousand words


They say never compare your baby's development. But I can't wait the time when my son is really speaks the right words. I heard he says 'tu' the other day, or sometimes 'baba', and then 'dada' to daddy but never 'mummy'. He called me 'mama', but he hardly says it now.
Nevertheless, he has the sweetest smile that speaks thousand words. I love you my son. Always until the time comes.
Mommies, care to share your experience?

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Istanbul : Bosphorus cruise and our first mosque in Istanbul


A quick nap gave easy shot of energy for the afternoon activity. I made a last minute change to our schedule, the Bosphorus cruise, instead of going to Taksim the city centre. So off we went to Sultanahmet tram, only 5 minutes walking distance from our hotel. Glad that we stayed in Sultanahmet area, very touristic spot tho..but I like the scenery in here. The Blue mosque was seen in every corner (because it was so huge), and just in front of it was the Hagia Sophia. So yes, we passed thru this iconic structures every day.

But Istanbul doesn't have something like the oyster card. Yes they do have pre buy card but it doesn't make any differences, talking about discount for public tranportation cost. We had to buy the token for each ride - 2 TL (Turkish Lira = RM4). Expensive. It would be better if they have unlimited ride public card. I don't see it is practical to buy token for every time we want to hop on the tram.





We hop on the tram from Sultanahmet station to Eminonu station, only 3 stations away passed by Sirkeci and Gulhan. The Eminonu station was quite a crowd on that day with the local people and tourists of coz. Probably it was after office hour and this area was much more alive at night, I guess.


 Underground crossing from Eminonu station to the dock.


 The Galata bridge, spot many restaurants under the bridge.



The Yeni Camii (known as New Mosque) as seen from the dock, from 19th century. The construction was ordered by Safiye Sultan ( the wife of sultan) hope to extend the sphere of Islamic influence because the Eminonu district was then predominantly Jewish population. 



Me with New mosque at the background, hari last baru we all dapat solat di masjid ni. Alhamdulillah , sepanjang berada di Istanbul dapat solat 5 masjid =)





Because it was sudden change of plan, agak kelam juga to decide the cruise.. several companies operate Bosphorus cruise. I know one public cruise at Sehir Hatlari dock (suppose cheaper) but the last departure was at 2:30 PM. Otherwise bolehlah naik but you will need to stay at the other part of Istanbul - not a a return journey. No, cancel.  It was 5:30 PM already and we walked to the left from Galata bridge to the Turyol dock. A private owner Turyol operates more frequent and brings back to Galata bridge after 1.5 hour cruise. It costs 12TL, the sign was clear and straightforward.




 My photo of the day! Superb.

This is Balik Ekmek (fish bread) boats bobbing in the water. Very nice, don't they? We had the fish bread later here after the cruise, and became our favorite that we returened here on the last day haha


 Turkish tea






The Bophorus cruise gave us impressive sight (and a romantic moment too) along the shore. Palaces, mosques, important monuments, bridges, seaside restaurant, Marmara sea and the Black sea also came to picture. It was a moment to remember, truly a highlight for our Istanbul trip. We were accompanied with a commentary onboard ( I thought we'll be given a personal audio set) but we could hardly hear the speaker.


 Istanbul has mosque in every 200 meters.




 Back to Galata bridge.

  Aariz was asleep during the cruise, only woke up masa makan =)


Now I want to show you two local Turkish food you must eat in Istanbul..hehe ; Balik Ekmek (grilled fish sandwich) and Lokma (deep fried donut)


 The grilled fish sandwich I was talking about, Balik Ekmek sedap sangat! Masih teringat

Another street food to celebrate in Istanbul is Lokma, a Turkish deep fried donut..very sugary, with pistachio on top.



Maghrib. I can't tell, the mosques are all look the same. Cuma besar atau kecil saja. But I guess they were all huge. As seen Suleymaniye camii (Sulayman mosque) was located high up on the third hill of Istanbul. Once was an imperial mosque during Ottoman era. The mosque was built on the order from Sultan Suleyman the magnificient, which only took 8 years of construction (1550-1558). It references the Dome Of Rock in Jurusalem, blended Islamic and Byzantine architectural elements.

So we asked a local man how and what's the easier route to make the way? The man looked at our stroller and, "Take the taxi at the next block, will cost you 15TL, and you can walk down back. Good advice." He ended with smile. Erk, ok we opted to push the stroller. Jauh dan tercungap juga la kan. Bukan selalu =) I still remember it was a dark hilly road..kadang2 kereta turun naik. Ya Allah memang lasak sungguhlah stroller ni kan - Sweet Cherry, made in Malaysia is highly recommended!

Alhamdulillah selamat sampai masjid, berselisih dengan beberapa tourist mat salleh..they were all amazed by the mosque (in fact they like to step in Istanbul mosques) Inshaa Allah moga diberikan hidayah.

 Amazed by what's infront of him.



Suleymaniye camii was our first mosque. Alhamdulillah. Until next entry.



Suleyman mosque, picture google.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Istanbul : love at first sight


Finally I can update about our Istanbul trip. The laptop isn't virus-less, yet, but it's ok using this mini lappy of mine which is so lembab I rarely use it. So it is obvious that I want to blog about Istanbul. Sementara cerita masih fresh, and I want to remember every inch of it.

Hubby had visited Istanbul, but it seemed very long time ago that he didn't have a good memory about it hehe. So baby let's do the second time! We bought Easyjet tix out of sudden (sebenarnya) 2 or 3 weeks before departure. I booked our accomodation, hotel from bookings.com and also airport shuttle bus. Flying by Easyjet from London (Luton) the low cost flight lands at the Asia part of Istanbul. Istanbul has two airports; Ataturk (Europe side) and Sabihah (Asia part). Sabihah airport is 45km away and you need to use all mode of transportation to get to the city. When I say all mode of transportation, that means train-ferry-tram! So booking a shuttle bus was an economical way.

Oh yes we drove all the way from Birmingham, arrived at Airport park Luton at 4:30am, and by the airport shuttle to terminal at 5ish am. After a very looong que for immigration check which I seriously thought we could miss the flight, but we managed to catch our flight at 6:30am. Arrived in Istanbul airport at 12:20 PM, and finally checked in our hotel at 3 PM. Phew~!



 Waiting for our stroller. We always carry hand luggage as it won't cost extra charge. I don't know how hubby did it but our clothes fit in our small luggage. So he always do the packing la =D =D



I booked airport shuttle bus from Sabihah airport to our hotel door to save time (and energy) as we only had 3 days to explore Istanbul. It costs reasonably at 10Euro as Sabihah is 45km away! So sampai arrival hall tu nampaklah nama kami..lega.. Sempat tapau Burger King lagi for lunch. Halal! best best



Tapi...naik2 je the shuttle bus tu oh my Turkish song played along the way. You know the rythm not into my liking, but heh mood in the air!

Warm summer sun welcomes us in Istanbul...erk, which gave me a little headache =( Panas betul, I think it was 26degrees. Oklah Malaysia lagi panas. But seriosuly I don't have headaches always but Istanbul had a brighter sun on our arrival.



The Bosphorus or the Istanbul strait (Turkish ; Bogazi) separates Turkey between Europe and Asia


Bosphorus bridge..we were on the way to Sultanahmet, the old city located at the Europe side of Istanbul



A small shop selling fruits next to our hotel

Selepas bersengkang mata pilih hotel, reasonable rate with sea and mosque view from breakfast terrace we were satisfied with this boutique hotel. Alhamdulillah, a good base for us in Sultanahmet.





A quick nap boosted the afternoon energy for Bosphorus cruise, truly a treasure in Istanbul. I love Istanbul, I love Istanbul. Perasaan ini sama ketika saya jatuh cinta kepada Andalucia. Until next entry ..



Saturday, May 26, 2012

Yesterday in Istanbul

I'm reminiscing Istanbul. The street,  the crowd, mosques (in every 200 mtrs!), their warm and lovely people, of their deep history, great buildings, our sweet memories by the sea, cruising and sipping Turkish tea..and well so much so. I really want to blog about Istanbul but not until we can get thru our laptop from a serious virus attack. Hubs is working on it. Too bad I've transferred all photos from camera.
This is Ayasofya / Hagia Sophia / St. Sophia, was a church converted to a mosque by the last Ottoman sultan. Now is a museum converted by the secular master Kamal Ataturk.
I'm wearing a local scarf, printed satin..well their style hee

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

breakfast terrace in Istanbul


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Sunday, May 20, 2012

last minute project before leaving for Istanbul



I'm working on a snood style shawl. Bought the fabric; lycra cotton at a hidden marche, which we just found out at town.

Will show off once done hee. Jeles tau tudung Malaysia yang cantik2 tu. InsyAllah will add this style to my collection.

I haven't mention that there're new collections lining up to be release at EKC, have I?

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UK sambal belacan



We're hosting majlis ilmu tonight at our house. On every weekend majlis akan rotate from house to house, lelaki dan wanita at different time. Masa mula-mula dulu buat serentak but haish you can imagine how chaotic it could be dengan kids yang memang creative kan hihi.

I like the community spirit in here.. It even amazed me! Bayangkan ibu yg on confinement, we all sama-sama masakkan for 2 weeks period untuk meringankan beban si ibu. And we have what we call as 'pesta kontena', gotong royong masukkan barang kontena for family yang nak balik Malaysia.

Such a bliss. Alhamdulillah. If you're a new comer in Birmingham, please do not hesitate to contact us. One of these generous families will invite you to stay at our house should you need time to find yours. That was a good deed behind my imagination when we first arrived here. Terkenang family kak S yang sangat baik hati.

So yeah back to my UK sambal belacan recipe ;

1 sudu Belacan & 1/2 Bawang besar ( bakar 2 min)

Blend bersama sebiji tomato, segenggam cili padi, cili merah, garam gula, perahan lemon.

Done!

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Saturday, May 19, 2012

Brussels the choco land

The only city we went in Belgium was Brussels. It was such a shame to skip Brugge, but we only had one day, in fact half a day to explore this small country. Located between Holland and France, kira menyinggah sajalah ni. Anyhow, Brussel has its own charm. Best known as the choco land, yes I guess every shop sells chocolate product. Saya tidaklah melepaskan peluang ini untuk mencuba the Belgium waffle, oh nyummeh! But different shop got different price, mind you. Terpulanglah kat mana lokasi tu... like 3 euro for 100 grams choco can goes up to 9 euro! 

The journey from Duinrell (our park holiday in Holland) to Brussels took almost 3 hours, caught in traffic jam duhh..and managed to reach the Grand Place about lunch time. So we quickly made our way to Mannaken Pis ( the Little Man Pee) the famous landmark in Brussels. On our way, we passed by the Grand Place as the central square.




 at cental square, Grand Place



Well, well never did I imagine that the statue is that small! Nevertheless, tersangatlah famous that semua orang pun kerumun..tengok sajalah excitednya makcik tu hehe. Several legends lie behind this landmark. The statue resemble a lost  boy who was found happily urinating in a garden, and the other version said it was a boy urinating a fire and saved the city. Hmm.. macam-macam lah kan kalau nak dijadikan cerita =)

This one not the original statue. Yang sebenar dah disimpan dalam museum, one of the hall at Grand Place.



  mannaken pis is everywhere





After many trips, I understand that travelling isn't only about taking picture with the landmarks. It's more than that. Dealing with the people and their culture for instant..and I'm truly happy and treasure every moment of it.

Oh yes, Belgian they speak French. And their 'hijababes' are everywhere and looking pretty =)




The weather wasn't looking so promising on that day. Nevertheless, we made our next stop to another city icon, the Atomium. Right beside this landmark is the Mini Europe, another tourist attraction in Brussels tapi hujan tersangat lebat =(

Good bye Belgium and Holland!

Next update is Paris. But expect some delay (again sigh), I need to pack for Istanbul next week!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

A smile speaks a thousand words


They say never compare your baby's development. But I can't wait the time when my son is really speaks the right words. I heard he says 'tu' the other day, or sometimes 'baba', and then 'dada' to daddy but never 'mummy'. He called me 'mama', but he hardly says it now.
Nevertheless, he has the sweetest smile that speaks thousand words. I love you my son. Always until the time comes.
Mommies, care to share your experience?

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Istanbul : Bosphorus cruise and our first mosque in Istanbul


A quick nap gave easy shot of energy for the afternoon activity. I made a last minute change to our schedule, the Bosphorus cruise, instead of going to Taksim the city centre. So off we went to Sultanahmet tram, only 5 minutes walking distance from our hotel. Glad that we stayed in Sultanahmet area, very touristic spot tho..but I like the scenery in here. The Blue mosque was seen in every corner (because it was so huge), and just in front of it was the Hagia Sophia. So yes, we passed thru this iconic structures every day.

But Istanbul doesn't have something like the oyster card. Yes they do have pre buy card but it doesn't make any differences, talking about discount for public tranportation cost. We had to buy the token for each ride - 2 TL (Turkish Lira = RM4). Expensive. It would be better if they have unlimited ride public card. I don't see it is practical to buy token for every time we want to hop on the tram.





We hop on the tram from Sultanahmet station to Eminonu station, only 3 stations away passed by Sirkeci and Gulhan. The Eminonu station was quite a crowd on that day with the local people and tourists of coz. Probably it was after office hour and this area was much more alive at night, I guess.


 Underground crossing from Eminonu station to the dock.


 The Galata bridge, spot many restaurants under the bridge.



The Yeni Camii (known as New Mosque) as seen from the dock, from 19th century. The construction was ordered by Safiye Sultan ( the wife of sultan) hope to extend the sphere of Islamic influence because the Eminonu district was then predominantly Jewish population. 



Me with New mosque at the background, hari last baru we all dapat solat di masjid ni. Alhamdulillah , sepanjang berada di Istanbul dapat solat 5 masjid =)





Because it was sudden change of plan, agak kelam juga to decide the cruise.. several companies operate Bosphorus cruise. I know one public cruise at Sehir Hatlari dock (suppose cheaper) but the last departure was at 2:30 PM. Otherwise bolehlah naik but you will need to stay at the other part of Istanbul - not a a return journey. No, cancel.  It was 5:30 PM already and we walked to the left from Galata bridge to the Turyol dock. A private owner Turyol operates more frequent and brings back to Galata bridge after 1.5 hour cruise. It costs 12TL, the sign was clear and straightforward.




 My photo of the day! Superb.

This is Balik Ekmek (fish bread) boats bobbing in the water. Very nice, don't they? We had the fish bread later here after the cruise, and became our favorite that we returened here on the last day haha


 Turkish tea






The Bophorus cruise gave us impressive sight (and a romantic moment too) along the shore. Palaces, mosques, important monuments, bridges, seaside restaurant, Marmara sea and the Black sea also came to picture. It was a moment to remember, truly a highlight for our Istanbul trip. We were accompanied with a commentary onboard ( I thought we'll be given a personal audio set) but we could hardly hear the speaker.


 Istanbul has mosque in every 200 meters.




 Back to Galata bridge.

  Aariz was asleep during the cruise, only woke up masa makan =)


Now I want to show you two local Turkish food you must eat in Istanbul..hehe ; Balik Ekmek (grilled fish sandwich) and Lokma (deep fried donut)


 The grilled fish sandwich I was talking about, Balik Ekmek sedap sangat! Masih teringat

Another street food to celebrate in Istanbul is Lokma, a Turkish deep fried donut..very sugary, with pistachio on top.



Maghrib. I can't tell, the mosques are all look the same. Cuma besar atau kecil saja. But I guess they were all huge. As seen Suleymaniye camii (Sulayman mosque) was located high up on the third hill of Istanbul. Once was an imperial mosque during Ottoman era. The mosque was built on the order from Sultan Suleyman the magnificient, which only took 8 years of construction (1550-1558). It references the Dome Of Rock in Jurusalem, blended Islamic and Byzantine architectural elements.

So we asked a local man how and what's the easier route to make the way? The man looked at our stroller and, "Take the taxi at the next block, will cost you 15TL, and you can walk down back. Good advice." He ended with smile. Erk, ok we opted to push the stroller. Jauh dan tercungap juga la kan. Bukan selalu =) I still remember it was a dark hilly road..kadang2 kereta turun naik. Ya Allah memang lasak sungguhlah stroller ni kan - Sweet Cherry, made in Malaysia is highly recommended!

Alhamdulillah selamat sampai masjid, berselisih dengan beberapa tourist mat salleh..they were all amazed by the mosque (in fact they like to step in Istanbul mosques) Inshaa Allah moga diberikan hidayah.

 Amazed by what's infront of him.



Suleymaniye camii was our first mosque. Alhamdulillah. Until next entry.



Suleyman mosque, picture google.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Istanbul : love at first sight


Finally I can update about our Istanbul trip. The laptop isn't virus-less, yet, but it's ok using this mini lappy of mine which is so lembab I rarely use it. So it is obvious that I want to blog about Istanbul. Sementara cerita masih fresh, and I want to remember every inch of it.

Hubby had visited Istanbul, but it seemed very long time ago that he didn't have a good memory about it hehe. So baby let's do the second time! We bought Easyjet tix out of sudden (sebenarnya) 2 or 3 weeks before departure. I booked our accomodation, hotel from bookings.com and also airport shuttle bus. Flying by Easyjet from London (Luton) the low cost flight lands at the Asia part of Istanbul. Istanbul has two airports; Ataturk (Europe side) and Sabihah (Asia part). Sabihah airport is 45km away and you need to use all mode of transportation to get to the city. When I say all mode of transportation, that means train-ferry-tram! So booking a shuttle bus was an economical way.

Oh yes we drove all the way from Birmingham, arrived at Airport park Luton at 4:30am, and by the airport shuttle to terminal at 5ish am. After a very looong que for immigration check which I seriously thought we could miss the flight, but we managed to catch our flight at 6:30am. Arrived in Istanbul airport at 12:20 PM, and finally checked in our hotel at 3 PM. Phew~!



 Waiting for our stroller. We always carry hand luggage as it won't cost extra charge. I don't know how hubby did it but our clothes fit in our small luggage. So he always do the packing la =D =D



I booked airport shuttle bus from Sabihah airport to our hotel door to save time (and energy) as we only had 3 days to explore Istanbul. It costs reasonably at 10Euro as Sabihah is 45km away! So sampai arrival hall tu nampaklah nama kami..lega.. Sempat tapau Burger King lagi for lunch. Halal! best best



Tapi...naik2 je the shuttle bus tu oh my Turkish song played along the way. You know the rythm not into my liking, but heh mood in the air!

Warm summer sun welcomes us in Istanbul...erk, which gave me a little headache =( Panas betul, I think it was 26degrees. Oklah Malaysia lagi panas. But seriosuly I don't have headaches always but Istanbul had a brighter sun on our arrival.



The Bosphorus or the Istanbul strait (Turkish ; Bogazi) separates Turkey between Europe and Asia


Bosphorus bridge..we were on the way to Sultanahmet, the old city located at the Europe side of Istanbul



A small shop selling fruits next to our hotel

Selepas bersengkang mata pilih hotel, reasonable rate with sea and mosque view from breakfast terrace we were satisfied with this boutique hotel. Alhamdulillah, a good base for us in Sultanahmet.





A quick nap boosted the afternoon energy for Bosphorus cruise, truly a treasure in Istanbul. I love Istanbul, I love Istanbul. Perasaan ini sama ketika saya jatuh cinta kepada Andalucia. Until next entry ..



Saturday, May 26, 2012

Yesterday in Istanbul

I'm reminiscing Istanbul. The street,  the crowd, mosques (in every 200 mtrs!), their warm and lovely people, of their deep history, great buildings, our sweet memories by the sea, cruising and sipping Turkish tea..and well so much so. I really want to blog about Istanbul but not until we can get thru our laptop from a serious virus attack. Hubs is working on it. Too bad I've transferred all photos from camera.
This is Ayasofya / Hagia Sophia / St. Sophia, was a church converted to a mosque by the last Ottoman sultan. Now is a museum converted by the secular master Kamal Ataturk.
I'm wearing a local scarf, printed satin..well their style hee

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

breakfast terrace in Istanbul


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Sunday, May 20, 2012

last minute project before leaving for Istanbul



I'm working on a snood style shawl. Bought the fabric; lycra cotton at a hidden marche, which we just found out at town.

Will show off once done hee. Jeles tau tudung Malaysia yang cantik2 tu. InsyAllah will add this style to my collection.

I haven't mention that there're new collections lining up to be release at EKC, have I?

Published with Blogger-droid v2.0.4

UK sambal belacan



We're hosting majlis ilmu tonight at our house. On every weekend majlis akan rotate from house to house, lelaki dan wanita at different time. Masa mula-mula dulu buat serentak but haish you can imagine how chaotic it could be dengan kids yang memang creative kan hihi.

I like the community spirit in here.. It even amazed me! Bayangkan ibu yg on confinement, we all sama-sama masakkan for 2 weeks period untuk meringankan beban si ibu. And we have what we call as 'pesta kontena', gotong royong masukkan barang kontena for family yang nak balik Malaysia.

Such a bliss. Alhamdulillah. If you're a new comer in Birmingham, please do not hesitate to contact us. One of these generous families will invite you to stay at our house should you need time to find yours. That was a good deed behind my imagination when we first arrived here. Terkenang family kak S yang sangat baik hati.

So yeah back to my UK sambal belacan recipe ;

1 sudu Belacan & 1/2 Bawang besar ( bakar 2 min)

Blend bersama sebiji tomato, segenggam cili padi, cili merah, garam gula, perahan lemon.

Done!

Published with Blogger-droid v2.0.4

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Brussels the choco land

The only city we went in Belgium was Brussels. It was such a shame to skip Brugge, but we only had one day, in fact half a day to explore this small country. Located between Holland and France, kira menyinggah sajalah ni. Anyhow, Brussel has its own charm. Best known as the choco land, yes I guess every shop sells chocolate product. Saya tidaklah melepaskan peluang ini untuk mencuba the Belgium waffle, oh nyummeh! But different shop got different price, mind you. Terpulanglah kat mana lokasi tu... like 3 euro for 100 grams choco can goes up to 9 euro! 

The journey from Duinrell (our park holiday in Holland) to Brussels took almost 3 hours, caught in traffic jam duhh..and managed to reach the Grand Place about lunch time. So we quickly made our way to Mannaken Pis ( the Little Man Pee) the famous landmark in Brussels. On our way, we passed by the Grand Place as the central square.




 at cental square, Grand Place



Well, well never did I imagine that the statue is that small! Nevertheless, tersangatlah famous that semua orang pun kerumun..tengok sajalah excitednya makcik tu hehe. Several legends lie behind this landmark. The statue resemble a lost  boy who was found happily urinating in a garden, and the other version said it was a boy urinating a fire and saved the city. Hmm.. macam-macam lah kan kalau nak dijadikan cerita =)

This one not the original statue. Yang sebenar dah disimpan dalam museum, one of the hall at Grand Place.



  mannaken pis is everywhere





After many trips, I understand that travelling isn't only about taking picture with the landmarks. It's more than that. Dealing with the people and their culture for instant..and I'm truly happy and treasure every moment of it.

Oh yes, Belgian they speak French. And their 'hijababes' are everywhere and looking pretty =)




The weather wasn't looking so promising on that day. Nevertheless, we made our next stop to another city icon, the Atomium. Right beside this landmark is the Mini Europe, another tourist attraction in Brussels tapi hujan tersangat lebat =(

Good bye Belgium and Holland!

Next update is Paris. But expect some delay (again sigh), I need to pack for Istanbul next week!