All posts filed under: Europe

15 Years On

Some people have known what they love doing since they were very young, but others find out about that one thing they’re most passionate about only when they’ve grown up, and I belong in the latter category. When I was little, I didn’t know that […]


The Fall of Constantinople

Chapter 3, Part 1 Istanbul, 1453. Around two thousand years earlier Buddhism began to spread across the Indian subcontinent, and for more than one millennium Buddhist kingdoms and empires rose and fell, from Anuradhapura in modern Sri Lanka to a Buddhist dynasty in Java, and Bagan […]


2013, The Journey Continues

2013 has been a year of intense travel, both for leisure and business. Since January almost every month I left Jakarta to travel, from a short drive to Bogor – a city to the south of Jakarta – to a 14-hour flight to Istanbul. As […]


An Aftertaste of Istanbul

We were standing under Galata Tower, a 14th century gem perched on the hill of Beyoğlu, a district in the European side of Istanbul. South we headed, where an even more ancient landmark emerged from afar, on top on Seraglio Point. Hagia Sophia, once the […]


Turkish Cuisine: A Delectable Experience

Bold, savory, refreshing, mouth-watering, amusingly foreign. Turkey has some of the most interesting dishes that I have ever tried by far. During my stay in the Turkish largest city I had the chance to tickle my palate by tasting local dishes made from fresh and […]


Beyoğlu: Where Cultures Collide

A cylindrical tower covered in bricks made of stone rises among the dense residential area of Beyoğlu, a historic neighborhood across the Golden Horn from Seraglio Point where Topkapı Palace overlooks the Bosphorus. The 14th century Galata Tower – originally Tower of Christ – was […]


Istanbul’s Bazaars: Beyond Commodities

“Are you okay?” a young shopkeeper of an antique shop asks Alexander, probably taking the heed from the walking stick on his hand. “Yeah, I’m fine. Where are you from?” Alexander replies. “I was born in Afghanistan and raised in Pakistan” the boy answers nonchalantly. […]


The Day when Coldness Brought Warmth

In the midst of the freezing winter wind we walk down a quiet neighborhood of Fatih, a complete opposite of the tourist-overrun district of Sultanahmet. My hands are numb and for the first time in Istanbul I regret for not bringing the gloves. We follow our […]


Rumelihisarı: Built for Conquest

A handful of men stand on the shore of the calm strait, each holding a fishing rod and a bucket to contain the catch. Some look pensive, others uneasy. Curious with the water I come closer to see what lies beneath. Surprisingly it reveals small […]


Istanbul: A Feline’s Paradise

As I wander around the neighborhood of Beyoğlu, I point my camera and snap some pictures of the magnificent Galata Tower, then I spot a cat. I come closer, caress him until he purrs and seems really content, then I move back to the tower, […]


Grand Palaces of the Ottomans

The steep cobblestone street that raises up on the right side of the expansive Gülhane Park is filled with stone artifacts from the Byzantine era, all lined up on one side of the street creating an outdoor exhibition of the fragments from the city’s long […]