Istanbul Attractions


There are so much to see in Istanbul! It will take a lifetime to fully experience Istanbul. I am particularly interested to learn about the ancient history, art and architecture of this city, which bridges Asia and Europe, both physically and culturally. If you have not visited Istanbul before, I highly recommend the following historic sites that you “must see” and something that you “must try” ! Enjoy!

Underground Basilica Cistern—-It is a beautiful piece of Byzantine engineering, mainly to satisfy the growing water demands of the Great Palace.

Sultan Ahmed Mosque or The Blue Mosque

Stepping inside the famous Blue Mosque….wow…it is so beautiful! The interior has dim lighting and is intensely decorated. The low-hanging chandeliers were designed for oil lamps with floating wicks. This technique allows the architect to fill the walls with decorative windows. The blue ceramic tiles called Iznik tiles, are used extensively to decorate the mosque.



 Looking back at the Blue Mosque in the Sultan Ahmed Park, I am overwhelmed by its size, majesty and splendor!
Hagia Sophia is a great architectural beauty and an important monument in Istanbul. It was once a church, later a mosque, and now a museum. Scholars always comment that Hagia Sophia is a perfect synthesis of the cultures and civilizations of both the Ottoman and Byzantium Empires. This picture shows the artful use of light which creates the interior’s stunning effect. All the architectural elements, including the decorative pieces, are placed in a symmetrical fashion, typically showing the basic principle of Byzantine arc
The Statue of Sappho
This is my favorite piece in the Archaeological Museum. The famous phrase “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” comes from this famous female poet of antiquity, Sappho, who was born on the Greek island of Lesbos 2,700 yrs ago. The Greek philosopher Plato called her the tenth Muse.
The main shore gate of Dolmabahce Palace
which is located along the European shore of the Bosphorus Strait.
The Spice Market
Many of our friends bought saffron, the most expensive spice in the spice marketworld 
 Turkish Coffee
I think no trip in turkey should be completed without a taste of the Turkish Coffee and an experience at the Turkish Bath. I will come back for the coffee, but not the bath. Why? You’d better try!

Cappadocia 4, Turkey

Cappadocia, famous for its moon-like landscape, underground cities, caved churches and houses built in rocks, is considered a “must see” destination in Turkey.  Its soaring rock formation, rippled landscapes, splendid walking trails, mysterious under

ground cities, and rock-cut churches, are unique.

Cappadocia 3, Turkey

If you like to see the pictures in a gallery, click any of the pictures below.

Cappadocia 2, Turkey

Cappadocia 1, Turkey

We lived in a cave-hotel which is pretty cool.  We were impressed by the ‘fairy chimneys” and the Gerome open air museum.  Link went for the balloon ride and took very beautiful pictures from the sky.  These are some of the highlights of his album.

Santorini, also known as “Thira”…

Santorini is also known as ‘Thira”.  It is one of the small Greek islands, with rich variety of landscapes and villages.  At the highest point of the island is the classic Sanitorininian town or la, also spelled as Oia, with its white washed walls houses and blue domed churches.  The stunning view from tis village has attracted lots of tourists, including celebrities.  Most of us want to come back again and stay for at least a week.  The sunset view from this village is said to be among the world’s most beautiful.  Unfortunately, we had to go back to our ship, and missed the sunset view.

This is the end of my Santorini series.  If  like to see the beautiful Santorini in a Gallery, click any of these pictures below.

Santorini: Its beautiful white washed walls houses, its blue domed churches and its stunning landscapes…

Santorini: .. have made this Greek island one of the most favorite sites for tourists.

Athens: The Parthenon


The Parthenon is considered the key landmark of Western civilization.  Some of the sculptures known as the Elgin Marbles are now in the British Museum.  I did see them some years ago in the British Museum.  Seeing where they were originally belonged to, was an “ah ha” moment for me. 
 This is the final post of my Athens series.  If you like to see the pictures again in a Gallery, click any of the pictures below.


Athens: Where is the missing maiden?

The Porch of the Caryatids–The famous “Porch of the Maidens” with six draped female figures as supporting columns, is missing one, which is now in the British Museum.  These five shown in this picture are copies only. The original five are now in the Acropolis Museum. The Greeks hope that  the sixth missing maiden would eventually be reunited with the rest in the Acropolis.

Athens: “Never on Sunday”

When we were in Athens, we often saw young children playing the music of “Never on Sunday” in the street.  Later, we found that they were commemorating Melina Mercouri, who was the actress of this movie, and who later became the Minister of Culture in Athens.  Throughout her life, she had tried to bring back the 6th Maiden to Athens.  

 This is the statue of Melina Mercouri who was loved by the Greeks.



My fourth book has just been published: Turkey and Greece Delights

My Notebook


Turkey and Greece Delights
Turkey and Gre…
Istanbul, Cappadoc…
By Denise Lau, Link Lee
Photo book

I co-authored this one with my friend Link who may be the next Ansel Adams!

This book also has an ebook version. Download it for free now. We will charge when we post it on iBookstore in future.

Most of the contents of this book are extracted from my other blog: Turkey and Greece. I hope you will like it.

By the way, my other published books are now on Look them up!

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Happy Anniversary to my “Initiation” into the Blogging World – my 100th post on “My Notebook”, and my 259th post on my 6 Blogs


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Happy Anniversary!

Today, there are reasons to celebrate.  It is the first anniversary of my first blog which is

from “curiosita to…”

As I was new to blogging, I went around to experiment on different themes.  Writing is not really my best attribute, but I love to learn new things, and love challenges.  As traveling and arts are my cup of tea, I want to devote different blogs to a different theme.  So far, I have actually developed many blogs on different platforms.  WordPress is my regular platform.  To date, I have these 6 “active” blogs, while the others are either private or not searchable for either work or private purpose.  As I am a private person, but not totally conservative like many people, I do not use blogging to socialize or widen my social network.  I think I just like to express and share what I like…

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Greece: I came, I saw, I was conquered

Your pix and writing are beautiful. I am reblogging your post to my blog which also has pix of Santorini and Athens and some of my thoughts.


This is the travel account from my Greece trip. I have always dreamed of visiting Greece, but now that –finally- I visited it, I will always dream of going back one day. I spent three weeks reading about the country before visiting it, but that was a mistake, a crime. Even three years are not enough to prepare the passionate traveler for the treasure that this country is…a country blessed with every beauty imaginable. This post is a tribute to Katerina Synodinou and Giorgos Thanos, my dear Greek friends as well as my passionate companions and extraordinary guides in Athens.

I- Ode to Greece

There is a kind of beauty that makes you smile, another that leaves you awe-stricken, and yet another that makes you sigh, as if in grief. Greece is one of these few places on earth where you can feel all three forms of beauty, as…

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