Our Journey of Beautiful Life

By: Malique Firdauz and Iva Ilyana

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Wednesday, 23-May-2007 09:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark

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Visiting Hagia Sophia was the most remarkable visit ever. It is why it was chosen as one of the 21 finalist candidates in the New 7 Wonders of the World. The history behind it - where it was a church which was then turned into a mosque - shows that everything possible

Hagia Sophia (Ayasofya in Turkish) was built during the reign of Emperor Justinian (532-537), when the Byzantine Empire was at the height of its power and influence. It was the Cathedral of the Patriarchate of Constantinople for more than 1,000 years. It was converted to a mosque after Constantinople (now Istanbul) fell to the Ottoman Turks under Sultan Mehmed II (The Conqueror) in 1453. In 1935, Turkish president Kemal Atatürk ordered Hagia Sophia to be turned into the Ayasofya Museum.
In the 15th century, since conservative factions of Islam consider pictures of the human form to be
blasphemous, Hagia Sophia’s mosaics were covered with plaster. However, thanks to the
foresightedness and tolerance of the Ottoman Sultans, the plaster was periodically removed, the mosaics
maintained, and replastered—so they have survived and many can now be seen in the museum

Hagia Sophia now stands for Faith & Respect

Tuesday, 22-May-2007 09:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark

Traditional building on our way to the Topkapi Palace
Entrance to Topkapi Palace
Pintu gerbang yang mengamit kami ketika masuk ke kawasan istana
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    The Topkapı Palace (Topkapı Sarayı in Turkish, literally the "Cannongate Palace" - named after a nearby gate), located in Istanbul (Constantinople), was the administrative center of the Ottoman Empire from 1465 to 1853. The construction of the Topkapı Palace was ordered by Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror in 1459. It was completed in 1465. The palace is located on the Seraglio Point between the Golden Horn and the Sea of Marmara in Istanbul, having a splendid view of the Bosphorus. It consists of many smaller buildings built together and surrounded by four courts

    The palace is full of examples of Ottoman style architecture and also owns large collections of porcelain, robes, weapons, shields, armors, Ottoman miniatures, Islamic calligraphic manuscripts and mural decorations, as well as a display of accumulated Ottoman treasures and jewelry

    In 1853, Sultan Abdülmecid decided to move his residence to the newly built Dolmabahçe Palace, the first European-style palace in the city. Today the Topkapı Palace serves as a museum for the imperial era, and is one of Istanbul's greatest tourist attractions

    Compared to other famous royal residences like the Schönbrunn Palace or the extravagant Versailles, Topkapı Palace distinguishes itself with its human proportions, sensible interiors and prudent layout

Monday, 21-May-2007 09:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark

Beautiful view of the blue mosque
jum masuk...
Ni salah satu pintu masuk dia...
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Hari ni kami terjaga dikala azan subuh kedengaran dilaungkan dari Blue Mosque. Apalagi, lepas je breakfast, kami pun berjalan kaki ke blue mosque..hanya 5 minit je jalan kaki dari hotel

Nama masjid ni bukannya Blue Mosque, tapi diberi gelaran 'Blue Mosque' disebabkan dalamannya yg dipenuhi ceramik berwarna biru. Nama sebenar masjid ni - Sultan Ahmad Mosque atau org Turkish panggil dia 'Sultanahmet Camii'. Dibina dlm tahun 1609-1616 oleh Mehmet Ağa - arkitek terkenal pada masa itu

Masuk je melalui pintu masuk utama..ingat ke masuk dlm masjid tapi rupanya ada laman besar tidak berbumbung! Dikawasan laman besar ni la ada air pancur tempat mengambil wuduk. Tapi skrg ni tak dipakai lagi

Bila kami masuk ke dalam masjid...terpegun sekejap...dalamannya dihiasi penuh dengan lampu2 kecil yang digantung dari syiling...nampak syiling2 yang penuh dengan ceramik biru ni seolah2 berwarna keemasan. Ceramik2 biru yang dihiasi tulisan khat dari ayat2 Al-Quran ni sebenarnya buatan tangan dari Iznik...berseni dan penuh asyik sekali. Lebih2 lagi bila ternampak Mihrab besar...yang ditutupi dengan baldu hitam yg. ditulis 'Allah' dan Mimbar yg. dihiasi emas

Percaya atau tak, kami terasa syahdu bila mengamati keindahan dalaman masjid ni. Sayang pulak kami dtg pagi....sebelum berangkat keluar..kami berazam untuk dtg kembali...insyallah, untuk solat maghrib

Sunday, 20-May-2007 12:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark

View from the airport to Sultanahmet - tu dia Blue Mosque!
Sultanahmet city area..
with tram...
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We've been to a few western countries in Europe, tapi rasanya mmg tak seronokla kalau tak visit the one & only Europe's Islamic city - Istanbul, Turkey ye tak?

We departed from London Luton with Easy Jet flight at about 6:00am. It took us 3 1/2 hrs to arrive in Sabiha Gokcen Airport. Rasa mcm lama je 3 1/2 hrs tu Nasib baikla sampai2 je kat airport van hotel dah tunggu. Since kitaorg sampai tengahari, 12pm (Turkey time), the 1st place yg dituju apalagi, kedai makanla...perut pun dah berkeroncong masa tu. Nasib baikla kami jumpa restoran yg mmg strategik - with a roof terrace overlooking Blue Mosque!

The view was so beautiful....accompanied by Turkish's lamb chop.. memang best!!

Lepas makan, kami pekena plak Turkish tea dia...yes, lain dari yg lain...
Dah puas menjamu selera, we decided to stroll along the Sultanahmet city area till dawn before we went back to our hotel. Esok jalan lagi!

Kerana cinta, aku kembara
Ikut lagu, bisikan hati mendambakan kasih paling setia
-Awan Yg Terpilu- (Ning Baizura 2006)

Sunday, 4-Feb-2007 09:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark

The breakfast room in the hotel
In the hotel's lobby
relax2 dulu sebelum jalan
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Our last day in Barcelona and so we decided to stroll along the city for the last time....it was a great break..we really enjoyed it!

Cause you and I both loved
What you and I spoke of and others just read of
Others only read of the love, the love that I love
- You and I Both (Jason Mraz) -

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