Sunday, June 17, 2012

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Although I still wanted to stay a couple of days more in Fethiye, I have to be back in Istanbul as a colleague has arrived there together with his family and I have to tour them around the city, I got no choice but to cut short my travel and fly back to the big city.

With three little kids for three full days, it’s gonna be a tough itinerary, the usual historical highlights of the city will not fit the bill.  What? I’ll tug them strolling around Sultanahmet and incessantly yammer about the fifty different lotus designs of the blue and red Iznik tiles that adorns the interior of the Blue Mosque?  Or get them engrossed about how the two heads of medusa ended up at the Basilica Cistern? Or take a chance describing the architectural properties of the Hagia Sophia? 

Haaaah! The pressure of entertaining kids in a historically-ridden city!  I was preoccupied the whole time while taking the flight from Dalaman airport to the busy Ataturk airport in Istanbul.  It’s a good thing, the internet is working excellent at the apartment, so even before I met with the family, I already have got at least an itinerary for the day. 


I met with my colleague and his family at Sultanahmet, it’s my first day of taking them out for a tour.  The kids are just adorable although quite honestly my affection with infants and toddlers can range from quick sweetness to just passing amusement.  I’m not one of you who were gifted with protracted patience when it comes to cute little kids.  I like them for a couple of minutes but my fondness dwindles once they begin to annoy me with the earsplitting bawling and running around and arguing about who gets to sit on the one and only baby stroller. 

We took the tram from Sultanahmet station and got off at Yusufpasa which is just after Aksaray, walked up the pedestrian bridge on to the  Metro train station in Aksaray.  Five tram stop and we reached the Kartaltepe-Kocatepe station where the Forum Istanbul Shopping Mall is located, Turkuazoo is inside the mall.  We should have taken a taxi, huge mistake on my part, it’s hard enough to tow little people and harder enough on a full packed tramvay.

Turkuazoo is actually an aquatic zoo, it is Turkey's version of Singapore's world's largest oceanarium at the Sentosa Island.  Opened to the public in 2009, it houses thousands of marine creatures in several aquariums in various sizes and theme in an area of more than 8,000sqm. The highlight is the 80-meter long underwater tunnel with escalating walkway where one can watch all sorts of fish, stingrays and sharks moving through the clear glass directly overhead.

Watch the staff feeding the stingrays, or experience swimming inside the huge aquarium and get close encounter with the tiger sharks.  There's a rainforest theme area too.

It’s a weekend so the place is packed with families and screaming kids, my worst nightmare!  Marketing people for snack companies were roaming around along with their mascots giving away free biscuits and nibbles to children.

It was fun for the kids, and adults as well, I enjoyed it, are you kidding me?

Opening times: 7 days a week from 10:00am until 6:00pm during weekdays and 10:00am until 8:00pm during weekends.

Tickets: TL28 for Adults, TL21 for students, teachers and children upto 16 y/o, senior citizen and disabled. Free for 2 y/o and below.  Families are discounted. We paid TL112 for 3 adults, 2 children and the 2 y/o is free.

Address: Forum Istanbul Shopping Mall, Bayrampasa, Istanbul

Directions: Beside IKEA and one tram station before the Buyuk Otogar (Grand Bus Terminal).


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