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Thursday, January 18, 2007
The Amazing Adventures of Kayla in Istanbul - New Year's Party
Part 3 (as in New Year's Night)

We were quite tired after an entire day of walking around. But who cared? It was New Year's Eve Party we were talking about. And we have heard of a huge concert in Taksim.

Istanbul’s modern city center, Taksim has gained its reputation of being the heart of the living city not only because of its convenient location but also because of many different cultural, historic and artistic attractions that it offers to the travelers.

Taksim Square derives its name from the 1733 water distribution building built there, in which water distribution for different districts of Istanbul used to be administered. The word “Taksim” in Turkish means “distribution” as it relates to where the water would be distributed from at the time. At the center of Taksim Square is the 12 meters high Republic Monument which was designed by the Italian architect Pietro Canonica and it symbolizes the foundation of the republic by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk in 1923.

The historic Pera, where is now officially called “Beyoglu” is a long pedestrian-only district that starts at the Taksim Square and swings through to Galata Tower for almost one and a half miles. More than 55 private or state-owned Art Galleries and over 30 foreign Consulates can be found in Beyoglu.

Beyoglu houses many movie theaters such as Emek, Fitas or the Alkazar. Most of the foreign movies are presented in their original language with subtitles in Turkish.

To do junk food justice, we started looking for a Burger King fast-food. There are no Burger Kings in Romania! We completely disliked the food. Sometimes, McDonald's simply rules! So we started walking around Taskim Square. And of course, we chose the most crowded street of all!

That's how we found a very interesting arcade. Traditional and very famous ÇIÇEK PASAJI (Flower Arcade) in Beyoglu, in a walking distance from Taksim Square, through ISTIKLAL Caddesi, is the place for eat, drink, snacks and especially for seafood specialties. We did not stay to eat, we were full, but we still went in to take some photos. We then took a break from so much walking and entered a Starbucks cafe! Yes, latte grade for me please! Extra caramel, of course!

We then continued our walk as midnight was getting closer. We passed by a deliciously looking sweets shop. Take a look at the desert this guy is handling, don't you think it's simply amazing?

Back in Taksim Square we took a better look at the stage. There was a huge crowd around us. Not really enough space, but still, everybody was dancing and singing and having fun!

The square looked beautifully. At midnight, after being totally captured for about 10 minutes to get all the fireworks on our memory cards (yeah, filming, not photo taking), we shared s little bottle of chapagne, traditional Romanian habit. It was more like tasting it for me, I am not allowed to have alcohol, I've been a bad girl somewhere along the path.

The first song of the year? No it was not Tarkan! It was a song of my own, I was the only one there (that I knew) who was in love with it. So I took it as a personal sign of good fortune: Mustafa Sandal - Kopmam Lazım

Bu gece kopmam lazım
Hedefi bulmam lazım
Seni gördü gözlerim
Bırakır mı hiç?
Ki değil tarzım

Some more photos here.

Tags: Travel Destinations, Turkey, Istanbul, Taksim
posted by Alina @ 9:08 PM  
5 Comments:
  • At 1/18/2007 9:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    A really nice way of starting the year, indeed. And I don't know if it's the way you tell it, or the picture of that desert, but something really makes me wish I was there (or maybe it's the thought of a chance at a real shawarma... who knows...).

     
  • At 1/18/2007 10:12 PM, Blogger Alina said…

    Well, Ryan, then maybe you'll come next year. Zainea and I are going. Maybe you and Iulia will join?

     
  • At 1/21/2007 10:09 PM, Anonymous deb s. said…

    You have posted a fabulous series! Hopefully, I will make a similar journey someday.

     
  • At 1/22/2007 7:27 AM, Blogger Alina said…

    Deb, thank you. There are two more two go and then the series is complete. I hope I finish uploading the photos soon enough!

    You should really try to take the journey.

     
  • At 1/22/2007 8:27 PM, Anonymous Ana Maria said…

    And don't forget to ask her what the name o the desert was :D .....maybe you'll want to try it when you get there and you won't know what to ask for ;)

    :p

     
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Name: Alina
Home: Bucharest, Bucharest, Romania
About Me: "This is my church. This is where I heal my hurts". It's also where I feel free and my preferred means of expression.
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