Travel

2015 in pictures – Its a wrap

Scissors with seasons – Give your hair attention
Scissors with seasons – Give your hair attention
Make it a knit
The magic pot
London
Bow tie for no reason
Make a statement with colour
Mind the detail: Pocket square
Family is the word: Stepping out in style
Prague: The style capital for architecture in Europe. 
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Prague: The style capital for architecture in Europe.

Continue reading 2015 in pictures – Its a wrap

C F Him in Istanbul – Hospitality and Food

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What can I really say about Istanbul that has not already been said many times over? The fascinating history of empires, its past religious crossroads, the connecting point between Asia and Europe and the list goes on and on. Everything from a factual and historic perspective is well documented. In fact, I urge you to check out an article I wrote a few weeks ago on the architecture of this beautiful city. I share quite a few photos of some of the beautiful landmarks and hope you like them.

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See, I told you everything that needs to be said from a generic perspective has been said already. However, there are two aspects of my visit I would like to share with you all. This is purely from a personal perspective and can truly say I was blown away them. The hospitality and the food of the Turks is like none other.

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Hospitality

I still cant get over the fact that the people of Istanbul were genuinely pleasant. From the airport upon arrival to checking out from my hotel, it was pure joy to interact with such polite and friendly people. This might sound a bit patronising but you would understand if you are from London where everything is a tall order. When I can, I always make sure I chose a decent hotel as I believe this adds a lot of value to the entire experience. Having worked very hard through the year with no time off, a was looking forward to the perfect hotel where I Continue reading C F Him in Istanbul – Hospitality and Food

Beautiful Architecture – C F HIM in Istanbul

I promised two weeks ago I would share my experiences in Istanbul with you but have not been able to do so until now. I apologise for the delay and hope its worth the wait.

Hagia Sophia (Ayasofya) in all its beauty with a blue sky backdrop. This architectural beauty also holds great historical significance as it connects Byzantine and Ottoman Empires. It was once a church, then converted to a mosque, and now a museum. one of my fav monuments in the city

I will be sharing my experiences of Istanbul in two parts. The first article (this one) will look at this city’s architecture, where the second article will explore food, hospitality and the people.

First of all, whenever I talk about architecture in Europe, there are two main cities I benchmark my idea of beautiful architecture from which are Barcelona and Prague. I know other European cities have beautiful architecture as well, but the above two left a lasting impression on my mind for so many reasons. You can check out articles of my Prague experience here and here. But anyway, this article is about Istanbul so let me reel it in a bit before I get carried away with talking about other cities. Oh and the fact that Istanbul is not even in the European union is probably a good enough reason for me not to compare but anyway, moving on.

The Sultan Ahmed Mosque (Blue mosque) was built from 1609 to 1616 during the rule of Ahmed 1. This mosque caused an uproar within the muslim world when it was built with six minarets matching the great mosque in Mecca. The uproar prompted the Sultan to order a seventh minaret to be built in the Mecca as a gift. The blue most is opposite Hagia Sophia with less than four minutes walk between them

Ok, basically I have heard so many things about Istanbul from different people who gave good reviews about this city. At this point, you would think it’s a no brainer for me to just pick up my suitcase and head out there right? Well guess what, that’s exactly what I did. Apart from the little scare I got after seeing on telly the tragic occurrence of the Ankara bombing on the 10th of October, there was no stopping me from travelling to Istanbul. As with many of the places I travel to for the first time, I did not know much about Istanbul. In fact, I know so little that I couldn’t have told you more than 10 facts about this city. Shocking right? Well wait until you hear my big confession. Continue reading Beautiful Architecture – C F HIM in Istanbul

The Freetown Peninsular – beautiful beaches and more

Freetown! What can I say about this beautiful city that has not already been said? Apparently there is a lot more but I’ll save that for future posts as I have so much more to share with you all.

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For now, I am just going to share a few photos I took during one of many family vacations to this wonderful city. Before I leave you to enjoy the pictures, here are a few facts about this historically rich and important city.

– Freetown is the capital city of Sierra Leone.
– European explores first reached Freetown in the 15th century
– Freetown was had the first colony of freed slaves in Africa, dubbed the “Province of freedom”.
– Has the largest natural harbour in Africa
– Has West Africa’s oldest university, Fourah Bay College, established in 1827
– Population of a little over 1.2 million
– In a recent research, Sierra Leone is listed second on the list of countries with the best diets in the world.

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This is what lonely planet has to say about Freetown. “And it might just be the only capital in the world where when you emerge from the airport, blinking after an overnight flight, you find yourself standing on the wooden deck of a port flanked by a backdrop of mountains, beaches and palm trees so idyllic you wonder if it’s real. Well it’s all real, all of it – the chatter and the chaos and the colour and the dirt and the lush lobster dinners and the devastating war history – and those lovely white sands too”. Need I say any more?

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So when planning your next holiday, think outside the box and consider Freetown. The fact that it might not be the obvious choices for first time visitors makes it even more thrilling and satisfying to anyone that makes the leap of faith.

Just a quick note to say that the photos below do not cover the entire city and were taken at only two out of many beautiful beaches that dots the Freetown peninsular. Come back soon as I will be sharing my experiences with a bit of rich history of Freetown and its surroundings backed with beautiful pictures.