We are back and we are very happy to report that we have succeeded in completing our 35 countries.

Weeks prior to our departure last June 16, majority of our travel group (yes, TC and I joined a group for a conference) had apprehension about traveling to Istanbul.  Who could blame then when the news had bombarded us with images such as this  —

SCENES from June 11, 2013

Luckily, our group proceeded with our trip and we were rewarded by the amazing sceneries of Izmir and Istanbul (I will write about what to expect in Turkey next week).  As for the infamous Taksim Square,  TC and I felt that the trip to Istanbul would not be complete without visiting Istiklal Avenue which on one side ends in Galata Tower and the other exits at… Taksim Square.  So we visited the area not just once but twice — for dinner and lunch.  What did we see?

SCENES from June 21, 2013

Riot police preparing for the protestors

Protesters having an information drive

Arrival of more riot police

Business as usual at the Istiklal Avenue

People going along their way unmindful to the rally

People fishing a few meters from Taksim Square

Istanbul is a sprawling metropolis.  Over 2,063 sq. miles of mosques, bazaars, baths and more.  Taksim Square is just small segment of this amazing city.  There was so much more to see, hear, taste and experience.  Never again would TC and I allow mainstream media to shape our opinions of a city.

Peace Taksim Square!

Happy Sailings Everyone!

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