Archiv für Juli 2013

This is Istanbul

Istanbul belongs to the largest cities and it is divided into a European side and an Asian side. The best time to visit this beautiful city is in spring or autumn when the city is filled with festivals. However, if you like hot weather and sun then summer time is better for you. On the other side if you want to experience something unique, then winter is also great as it is enlivened by magical snow falls.

During the golden days of the Ottoman Empire, extravagant celebrations were held on every possible occasion, with the sultan providing most of the excuses. For the circumcision of the three sons of the sultan Suleiman, tents sewn with tulips were raised on gold-plated poles at the Hippodrome. People were entertained by tightrope walkers on a cord stretched from the Egyptian Obelisk at its centre.

Within the 20th century new holidays were added, mostly those heavily marketed like Valentine´s Day, Mother´s Day or even Christmas which naturally tends to get confused with New Year´s Day which is given by the fact that more than 95 per cent of the population is Muslim.

The recent years have brought the full –blown festive spirit back. At present, except winter, there is a festival of some kind every month. The city´s youthful population gives these events dynamism. Many of these events are superbly managed and promoted by the Istanbul Foundation for Arts and Cultures which consistently attracts a roster of international big names.

The main event in the Islamic calendar is Kurban Bayrami which can be translated as the Feast of the Sacrifice. It marks Abraham´s near sacrifice of Isaac. Traditionally, families buy a kurban which could be a sheep, bull goat or came and they sacrifice it on the first or second day of the feast. Afterwards they share this meat with relatives, neighbours and the poor.

The Old Town of Warsaw

It is one of the best tourist attractions in Warsaw. It is because of its beauty and unforgettable atmosphere. A lot of families use this place for a walk on Sunday and young people like it as a dating spot. There are a lot of great restaurants, art galleries as well as street artists or crown pleasers, so you can be sure you will enjoy your time spent here. The restaurants might be a little bit more expensive but take a snack or just have a rest there will allow you to take its atmosphere.

The whole square was reconstructed after the World War II, but the Renaissance – era look can still be seen there. Each building shows something about its history or significance, so have a look closely at the architectural details when you are there.

The mermaid is a symbol of the city and it can be found in the middle of the square. However, the statue was not always situated there. It is the legend of her that connects her with the city heart. The legend says that in the past this place was just a forest where a fisherman lived. He liked fishing at night as at that time the river was very peaceful. Once he caught a beautiful mermaid. Her name was Sawa. She was scared, but she started singing and her voice was so beautiful that he released her. The both fell in love with each other, so they got married and lived very long. The place where they met was later founded as a city and called Warszawa.

There are a lot of interesting legends connected with Old Town. So, for sure this place deserves to be explored when you are there.