Posts Tagged With: Turkey

Places that captured my heart: the top 5 cities that I long to return to

8079727_mWhen I venture forth from my home base of New York City, I tend to prioritize visiting destinations that I’ve never been to before. It’s my goal to explore as many different places on the planet as I can (and, along the way, to sing karaoke wherever in the world I can find it). If I had my druthers, I would travel as often as possible to the spots that I most enjoyed in the past, while constantly adding new locales to my itinerary. Due to time constraints, however, first-time destinations tend to win out when I’m planning my next holiday. There are few overseas cities that I end up getting to more than once. But some metropolises have made such an impression on me that I’m fervently hoping to find a way to spend more time in them. This post is about the five global cities that I would most like to return to.

Note that in compiling this list, my focus was on international travel, and accordingly I only considered cities outside my native United States. I’m certainly always up for going back to American locations such as San Francisco, Las Vegas, New Orleans, Chicago, Miami Beach, and Seattle; but that’s a discussion for another day.

This post was written in response to a challenge by Arnab of the blog Travel Andy. Anyway, here are my top 5!
Continue reading

Categories: Africa, Asia, Europe, Oceania and South Pacific, travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

H-Bomb’s Friday Photo, week 32: lamps for sale in Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar

Happy Friday! This week began with me being a contestant on an American quiz show. It was one of my best experiences ever! More about it in a new post that’s coming on Sunday! And tomorrow afternoon, I’m heading to JFK International Airport — but not to embark on any travels. What’s bringing me to JFK is my in-person interview in connection with my application for the Global Entry program. Assuming that I’m approved, whenever I return to the United States from overseas travel I’ll be able to bypass the immigration line at the airport — at least so long as my point of entry to the U.S. is one of the over 30 airports participating in the program.

So it’s going to be a fun-filled weekend. But now it’s time for me to share with you a new featured photograph. This week’s Friday Photo comes from the exotic city of Istanbul, and specifically from its sprawling covered marketplace known as the Grand Bazaar. Within the confines of the Grand Bazaar you’ll find over 3,000 shops; and 61 covered streets criscross its 75.8 acres of floor space. Many of its vendors sell glass lamps, which tend to be stunningly beautiful and colourful. Here’s a look at the merchandise that was available from one such purveyor of lanterns on the day of my visit:

lamps

This photo was taken during my trip to Istanbul that took place from December 2012 to January 2013.

Would you like to go shopping in the Grand Bazaar?

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Categories: Europe, H-Bomb's Friday Photo, travel | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

H-Bomb’s Friday Photo, Week 16: Istanbul’s Spice Bazaar

TGIF! I hope you had a good week. And now it’s time for me to share another featured image with you! Today’s photo comes from my recent visit to Istanbul, during which Turkey became the 27th country on my World Karaoke Tour. The photo takes you inside the Spice Bazaar, also known as the Egyptian Market.

spice spice baby

The Spice Bazaar is a gigantic indoor emporium in which you’ll find dozens of shops offering a dizzying array of spices. You’ll also find other products such as fruit and flower teas; Turkish Delight (a popular dessert confection); and even Turkish Viagra. This marketplace can be found in the Eminönü neighborhood, just south of the waterway known as the Golden Horn.

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Categories: Europe, H-Bomb's Friday Photo | Tags: , , , | 6 Comments

Country no. 27 on my World Karaoke Tour: a Turkish delight

Stock photo of the Turkish flag.As 2012 drew to a close, I jetted off from New York to make my first-ever visit to Istanbul. The city that was founded as Byzantium in the 7th century B.C. certainly lived up to my expectations of it as an exotic destination that can be appreciated on many levels. Of equal interest for this blog, less than 24 hours after I stepped off the plane at Atatürk Airport, Istanbul became the latest stop on my World Karaoke Tour!

Klub Karaoke: The tour rolls on

It happened at a venue called Klub Karaoke. That particular “Klub” is located just off Istikal Street, a pedestrian-only thoroughfare that’s known for its abundance of nightlife. I’d found Klub Karaoke’s website via a google search while planning my trip; and I was particularly impressed that the bar makes its songlist available for perusal online. That was a big plus for me, since it enabled me to confirm in advance that I would find my desired songs there.

Istikal Street, late on a Friday night.

Istikal Street, late on a Friday night.

Most of the bars, nightclubs, and restaurants that draw revelers to the Istikal Street area are actually found on side streets that intersect Istikal rather than on Istikal itself, and that was true of Klub Karaoke. Here’s what Klub Karaoke looks like on the outside: Continue reading

Categories: Europe, travel, Uncategorized, World Karaoke Tour | Tags: , , , , , , | 6 Comments

8 things I’m looking forward to in the next 12 months

One year ago today, I launched this blog by sending my first post into cyberspace. Having never operated a website before, I really had no idea of what I was getting into. But it’s been an incredible year. Portugal, Egypt, and Germany became countries no. 24, 25, and 26 on my World Karaoke Tour; I enjoyed writing about my international karaoke experiences and other travel adventures; and I discovered an amazing and inspiring community of travel bloggers. Along the way, I’ve connected with some very cool people. Learning from them has already helped to make my travels more fulfilling.

There was a rough patch during the early part of 2012 when I got sick and suspended my blogging for over three months. Let us never speak of that dark period again, except to say that getting through it provided me with a renewed sense of purpose, and even a sense of urgency. The realisation that I can’t take my health for granted now motivates me to enjoy life to the best of my ability, and to prioritise seeing as much as I can of the beauty and wonder in this world — while getting to know the people who live in it.

As I commemorate the first anniversary of this website (an occasion that’s also known in the vernacular as my “blogoversary”), I’m eager to embark on the next 12 months! I’ve got some exciting plans lined up for the second year of H-Bomb’s Worldwide Karaoke. I’m especially anticipating the following events:

1. Santacon in New York City

One of the annual highlights of the holiday season for me is Santacon: a celebration held on the same day in various cities around the world, during which large numbers of people dressed as Santas and other seasonally appropriate characters cavort around town, make merriment, and (of course) consume generous quantities of alcoholic beverages. New York City’s Santacon is usually the biggest, featuring thousands of participants; and it’s just generally a really fun time. Here you can read my blog post about last year’s edition of Santacon. Santacon 2012 will be held on December 15 in at least 37 countries! It’ll be my fifth consecutive year of hanging with the Santas. (In case you’re wondering, I do not, myself, don a Santa outfit, beyond wearing the red hat with white trim. But hey, someone has to document the proceedings on the internet. So I still make a vital contribution. :))

2. Istanbul for New Year’s

I typically spend my New Year’s Eves overseas, and the dawn of 2013 will be no exception. On December 27 I’m heading to Istanbul, the only city in the world that straddles two continents; that’s where I’ll be as the world rings in yet another year! Continue reading

Categories: Europe, South America, travel, World Karaoke Tour | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

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