What an Year it was πŸ’•πŸ˜‡

I surpassed myself in my travels in 2019 πŸ˜‡

5 Continents

4 New Countries : Guatemala, Nepal, Canada and Turkey. All were so awesome and worth visiting again.

Such beautiful places, even more beautiful friends and so much of love from all around. Can’t thank God enough for all His grace πŸ’•πŸ™πŸ’•

Wherever I find love that is my home πŸ’•πŸ’•

LOS ANGELES: Peace Love Nature – December 2018 and January 2019

Ten days in LA were spent in the SRF Mother Center and three days at SRF retreat, Lake ShrineπŸ‘‡

18 Joyous days in the Country of Eternal Spring- Guatemala πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ‘‡

And my trip around the world was rounded up beautifully with 8 days in end January in Brisbane with my dear niece, Uma πŸ’•πŸ€—πŸ’•πŸ‘‡

After visiting North America, Central America and Australia in the beginning of the year; April found me in me beautiful neighbouring country – Nepal; with my beautiful niece, Sabrina and her loving family. Whole of Nepal is so scenicπŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ‘‡

And then back home on the beaches of Goa with my niece, Kankana and her son πŸ’•πŸ€—πŸ‘‡

The end of the year found me back again in North America, but this time on the East Coast. It has been a dream to watch the fall colours and I got so much more πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ‘‡

The last country to visit was Turkey. Visiting Istanbul had been in my wish list for almost 50 years πŸ˜ŠπŸ‘‡

Amazing Istanbul πŸ’•

I have been wanting to go to Istanbul for the past 50 years πŸ˜‚

I saw a movie : That Man in Istanbul in mid 60s and read Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express at about same time. Ever since a visit to Istanbul has been on my mind. Finally I managed to go there in end October 2019, on my way back from Canada.

It is an amazing city, the only one in the world stretching to two continents πŸ˜‡ Istanbul is filled with history, great food (for non vegetarians) and friendly, beautiful people.

7 million in European part and 11 million in Asian part. 3 million people come to work from Asian to European side everyday πŸ˜‡ Galata Bridge connects old with the new European part.

On my flight from Toronto to Istanbul I met two young girls, friends from Edmonton, Canada; traveling to meet friends in Turkey! I love such people πŸ’•

Met many interesting tourists from all over the world almost everyday!

Harborside EminΓΆnΓΌ buzzes with activity as boats unload passengers at the ferry docks near the city’s bazaars. The Egyptian Bazaar, or Spice Bazaar, has stalls full of fruit, teas, and spices, while the halls of the Grand Bazaar are a colorful jumble of carpets, fabrics, lamps, and jewelry. The SΓΌleymaniye Mosque towers over the area, and the 16th-century Rustem Pasha Mosque is famed for its Iznik tiles.

Hagia Sofia (Holy Wisdom) was a Greek Orthodox Church for more than 900 years and for a short period a Roman Catholic Church and Ottoman Mosque for more than 400 years. It was converted into a museum in 1935, once Turkey had become a republic in 1923.

Bosporus bridge (1970 -73 ) connects Asia and European parts. Before this bridge boats were used to travel between the two parts. Bosphorus river/creek merges with Black Sea.

The Blue Mosque can accommodate 10000, including gardens. In summer people sit outside to pray.

Topkapi Palace is another historic and beautiful building.

Dervish performance at Orient Express Restaurant: A dream come true for me.

On the left is Orient Express building facade, still same as decades ago. Pic below that is the inside.

There are 7 islands and known as Islands Princess. Took a ferry ride and visited two of these. Heybeliada is a smaller island and enjoyed horse carriage ride there. All vehicle are electrical but there is horse shit smell😝

Met a couple from Delhi and 6 female friends from Chennai, traveling together – leaving their families behind 😊

Bigger island is Buyukada. All islands combined population is around 10000 and this one 5000.

Sea of Marmara is one side and Black Sea on the other

The guy above was selling some inexpensive kitchen gadgets. What an entertaining performer and he sold many pieces on the small boat ride.

Visited Blue Mosque more than once and prayed/meditated there.

Hagia Sophia

Hippodrome is 15th century BC, obelisk from Egypt; base Roman 2nd century. There used to be Chartiot races etc here.

Cafe Mavera on top of Camlica Hill; great city view. Good cup of tea with Amir (Vietnamese, now living in Finland). He was visiting Istanbul for hair transplant and travelπŸ˜‡ He said it was very cheap here! I was told that the mosque at Camlica can accommodate more than 70000 worshippers πŸ˜‡πŸ™

It was interesting to meet another group of females traveling together, leaving their families behind 😊 These were from Bangladesh, living in England.

Quite like Indian stuffed bread (Parantha). Was good to have a vegetarian one on my last day πŸ˜‹

God willing shall visit Turkey again for a longer stay πŸ’•πŸ™ and see more of this beautiful country πŸ’•πŸ’•

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