Hookahs, Schwarmas & Turkish Delight - Photoblog - The Jax Blog

More than a year or more so ago, I was fortunate enough to be chosen as one of the Top 3 Finalists in a reality TV show called “Sell Hard Western Cape” The search for Cape Town’s Best Sales Person.

Hookahs, Schwarmas & Turkish Delight - Photoblog - The Jax Blog

The 3 Top Finalists: Luanna Shonfeld, host George Morales, Jacqui Cooks & Danfred Afrika

One of the final challenges was to go to Istanbul, the Mecca of all salesmen and learn all about Faselis. Faselis is a PR software that is coming to South Africa and the winner of the show would be the Sales Director of the South African franchise.

Hookahs, Schwarmas & Turkish Delight - Photoblog - The Jax Blog

Me standing outside of Faselis Turkeys office

I have experienced Istanbul once before, my 19-year-old self had backpacked with a tour group. This time, it was different, as an adult, I was blessed to stay in luxurious hotels, from the Gloria Hotel in Doha, Qatar where we had a layover as well as the stunning Radisson Blu Hotel and Cartoon Hotel off of the ever popular Taksim Square.

I digress, what I really want to share with you is not the TV show but the sights, the sounds, the tastes of this Incredible city Istanbul.

See Istanbul through my eyes:

Hookahs, Schwarmas & Turkish Delight - Photoblog - The Jax Blog

Top 3 Finalists with Host George Morales & Judge Tracy Mcgregor

Hookahs, Schwarmas & Turkish Delight - Photoblog - The Jax Blog

Fresh Honey for Breakfast at the Cartoon Hotel

Hookahs, Schwarmas & Turkish Delight - Photoblog - The Jax Blog

The Grand entrance in the park heading towards Aya Sofia Mosque

 

Hookahs, Schwarmas & Turkish Delight - Photoblog - The Jax Blog

Entrance to Aya Sofia Mosque

Hookahs, Schwarmas & Turkish Delight - Photoblog - The Jax Blog

Me in front of the Gloria Hotel Lexington in Doha, Qatar

Hookahs, Schwarmas & Turkish Delight - Photoblog - The Jax Blog

View of the Blue Mosque

Hookahs, Schwarmas & Turkish Delight - Photoblog - The Jax Blog

Im not sure if I was checking the view from the Asian side of Istanbul looking towards the European side? Or the other way round?

One of the most unusual, yet unique facts about Istanbul is that it is spread over two continents; Asia and Europe.

Hookahs, Schwarmas & Turkish Delight - Photoblog - The Jax Blog

Me standing outside the Blue Mosque – I wasn’t allowed in because my knees were not covered. Not appropriate attire for a woman to enter this Holy Place.

Hookahs, Schwarmas & Turkish Delight - Photoblog - The Jax Blog

Aya Sofia Mosque

Hookahs, Schwarmas & Turkish Delight - Photoblog - The Jax Blog

Old Fresco in Hagia Sophia, Istanbul – {Photo Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/paukrus/7791349838 }

Hookahs, Schwarmas & Turkish Delight - Photoblog - The Jax Blog

Inside Aya Sofia {Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/adam_jones/5723085150 }

Aya Sofia also known as Hagia Sofia, the name meaning “The Church of Holy Wisdom”  in days gone by the Christians too had inhabited this beautiful building which is a museum today.

Now I’m not so sure who came first, but according to Wikipedia the Christians built this as a cathedral in 537 AD, back when Turkey was still called Constantinople. Later when Constantinople was invaded by the Ottoman Turks in 1453 it was converted into a Mosque.

Hookahs, Schwarmas & Turkish Delight - Photoblog - The Jax Blog

Taksim Square, Istanbul {photo credit: NationalTurk.com}

Hookahs, Schwarmas & Turkish Delight - Photoblog - The Jax Blog

Inside the Grand Bazaar – Shoppers Paradise {photo credit alarmy.com}

Hookahs, Schwarmas & Turkish Delight - Photoblog - The Jax Blog

Hookahs or Hubblys as we South African’s call them {photo credit: Alarmy.com}

 

 

 

 

 

 

My absolute favourite eats in Istanbul were Turkish Delight and the Turkish Coffee! Both come in a zillion different flavours and you can buy them by the pound (or Kilo for those of us using metric).

Hookahs, Schwarmas & Turkish Delight - Photoblog - The Jax Blog

Turkish Delight in every flavour imaginable! {photo credit: http://i.imgur.com/qAiEasw.jpg}

Yes I DID buy tons of Turkish Delight, yes it’s true not all it made it home with me 😉

Other than that I did manage to purchase this beautiful tapas dish set, which reminds me fondly of my trip to Istanbul every time I use it.

Hookahs, Schwarmas & Turkish Delight - Photoblog - The Jax Blog

My gorgeous hand painted ceramic tapas set that I bought at The Grand Bazaar in Istanbul

Hookahs, Schwarmas & Turkish Delight - Photoblog - The Jax Blog

A few obligatory must buy fridge magnets (you know the hand luggage gifts for moms and sisters)

I can with absolute confidence say that Istanbul is one of the most amazing cities in the world. The diversity in culture, religion, foods, sights and sounds makes for an exciting adventure. oh and by the way, a little tip before you go, the Turks are super friendly but also don’t take no for an answer. So when shopping, be prepared to haggle for the price you want, trust me they are expecting it.

As they say in Turkey, ‘Teşekkür ederim‘ (Thank you very much) for stopping by my blog today.

Hookahs, Schwarmas & Turkish Delight - Photoblog - The Jax Blog

Me guess where I am?

Many thanks once again to Sell Hard Western Cape for this amazing opportunity and to my wonderful new friends  and hosts Asli Astari, Baler EskiBatman and Aydin Sün (CEO of Faselis)

Hookahs, Schwarmas & Turkish Delight - Photoblog - The Jax Blog

Our wonderful hosts during my time in Turkey: Asli Astari, Baler Eskibatman and Aydin Sun (CEO of Faselis Turkey)

Psssssssssssst! Here’s a video from my VLOG of that Episode of Sell Hard that was taped in Istanbul.


#WishYouWereHere

Jax