地中海 異國風情
Mediterranean Exoticism

星羅棋布的江河湖海如藍色的閃亮眼眸,濃墨重彩的城市和小鎮被天空和大海無處不在的藍色包圍,怪不得有人說,土耳其是被藍色寵壞的國家。我是來自來馬來西亞的Lisha,帶你由世上唯一橫跨歐洲與亞洲的城市伊斯坦堡,至鄰近的隱藏島國北塞浦路斯,沿途看過的“藍”,譜出了一幅又一幅扣人心弦的美景,教人動心。
With its shining blue rivers and lakes, densely-colored cities and the surrounding sea, Turkey is a country spoiled by blueness. I am Lisha from Malaysia, who travelled from Istanbul which bridges Europe and Asia, to the neighboring hidden island country Northern Cyprus and witnessed the tempting scenery along my journey.


伊斯坦堡 Istanbul

 

濃厚宗教色彩

神秘卻流露迷人色彩的土耳其,除了擁有美侖美奐的景色,其濃厚的宗教色彩,亦令世人心神響往,單在伊斯坦堡的清真寺就有450座,而最著名的聖索菲亞大教堂,已有近1,500年的悠久歷史。四個高聳的尖塔,圍繞著一個巨大的圓頂,乍看之下就是一座典型的清真寺,事實上這是聖索菲亞大教堂的前身,是一座拜占庭式基督教宮廷教堂,至1453年蘇丹穆罕德二世把教堂改成清真寺,隨後的幾百年間,教堂經過多番修整,四座宣禮塔逐一建成,壁畫被覆蓋,取而代之的是可蘭經文。直到1935年,聖索菲亞大教堂搖身一變,成為博物館,才除去水泥,讓壁畫得以重見天日。

如此這般複雜的宗教背景,聖索菲亞大教堂在歷史上不但具有重大意義,亦是世界上現存唯一基督教與伊斯蘭教和平共存的宗教建築。站在大教堂外的草地上看,很難想像這古老建築,到底經歷了多少變遷。雖然其外觀是帶股滄桑的粉紅色,但走入建築中,卻被眼前的一切給震懾住了,教堂內部的裝潢跟壁畫華麗壯觀,在莊嚴的回教經文下,還可隱約看到基督教的壁畫痕跡。這裡還有一隻家喻戶曉,名為葛莉的貓,當地居民均指牠是神的使者,就連前任美國總統歐巴馬到訪土耳其時,也要來這一看其風貌!

Strong Religious Atmosphere

The mysterious Turkey embodies not only beautiful views, but also a rich religious atmosphere. Among the 450 mosques in Istanbul, the most famous one is Hagia Sophia with a long history of nearly 1,500 years. Sultan Muhammad II changed the original Orthodox Christian cathedral in Byzantine style into a mosque in 1453. In the following centuries, the four minarets were built, murals and mosaics were plastered and replaced with Islamic texts. Finally in 1935, after years of restoration, the cathedral was re-opened as a museum.

With such a complex religious background, Hagia Sophia is the only church in the world where Christianity and Islam coexist peacefully. Standing on the grass outside the living miracle, it is hard to imagine that the ancient building remains perfect for more than 500 years. Even though the outer part of the church is old faded pink, the interior decoration of the church is as magnificent as the murals while the vague Christian murals covered by the solemn Islamic scriptures can still be noticed. There is also a famous cat called Gli living inside the church, who is regarded as the messenger of God by local residents. Even the former US President Barack Obama has come to visit it!


一千零一夜

伊斯坦堡在歷史上曾是羅馬帝國、拜占庭帝國和奧斯曼帝國三大帝國的首都,若想徹底沉浸在這種古老伊斯坦堡的神祕氛圍中,那定要到世界上最大、最古老的市集之一——大巴札逛逛,因這裡除了有幾世紀以來各式各樣美麗的商品外,土耳其文化和土耳其人的創業精神也可在這感受得到,難怪每天總吸引到25至40萬旅客到此。

從17世紀至今,大部份地中海商人都會聚集於此,豐富多彩的油燈、芳香宜人的香料、柔軟高貴的地毯、別具匠心的陶瓷等,全都在大巴扎60多條街道上近4,000間商店中找到,應有盡有。遊走於此,感覺猶如在迷宮中探險,當中最吸引我的,莫過於那散發著七彩光茫的琉璃燈飾店。各式各樣充滿異國風情的琉璃燈,照射出五彩繽紛的色調,每顆燈飾好像飄浮在半空中的星宿一樣,美得極不真實,單是看見這夢幻景緻,已教我猶如置身於一千零一夜的夢幻世界當中!

One Thousand and One Nights

Istanbul has been the capital of the Roman Empire, the Byzantine Empire and the Ottoman Empire in history. The Grand Bazaar should be the best option to immerse yourself in the mysterious atmosphere of the ancient city. As one of the largest and oldest market, it is attracting 250,000 to 400,000 visitors every day with its various beautiful commodities, rich Turkish culture and the entrepreneurial spirit of Turks.

Since the 17th century, most Mediterranean merchants have gathered here and offered colorful oil lamps, aromatic spices, noble carpets and ingenious ceramics. With more than 60 roads and 4,000 shops inside the Grand Bazaar, exploring the market is just like exploring a maze. The most attractive shops for me are the light stores selling multi-coloured Turkish lamps. The exotic glass lamps illuminated with colorful hues are hanging all around. Seeing this dreamy and surreal landscape has already indulged me in the fantasy world of One Thousand and One Nights!


感受海峽魅力

伊斯坦堡的博斯普魯斯海峽舉世聞名,在沿海找一間精致的餐廳,一邊享用美食,一邊欣賞那獨有的“藍”可謂最好不過,當中四層高的Chilai餐廳最合我心,因這裡不單提供多國美食,亦設有落地大玻璃,黃昏過後更會化身夜店,是目前伊斯坦堡最火熱的餐廳。伊斯坦堡以羊食盛名,點上一客羊膝,配以特制的雞尾酒,看著彷佛無盡頭的大海,感覺相當寫意。而餐廳職員特別推薦的泡芙亦十分可口,蓬鬆酥脆的外皮配以濃厚的土耳其巧克力醬,絕對是女生最愛!

Chilai餐廳另一賣點,是可讓您在飽餐過後,在其私人碼頭登上Den Den 遊輪出海,進一步在美麗的博斯普魯斯海峽欣賞沿岸的世紀建築及宏偉的博斯普魯斯大橋,感受伊斯坦堡的魅力。博斯普魯斯海峽北連黑海,南通馬爾馬拉海,讓土耳其3%的土地被劃分在歐洲,97%屬於亞洲。搭上游船,穿梭在博斯普魯斯海峽,讓人一秒從歐洲橫跨到亞洲,彷彿世界有一半已在眼前真實呈現。

Feel the Charming Straits

Arriving at Istanbul’s world-famous strait Bosphorus, it’s best to find a great restaurant along the strait and enjoy the unique blueness. The four-storey Chilai is perfect for me since it not only offers multi-national cuisine, but also has large floor-to-ceiling glass windows. At night it will turn to a night club, which is currently the hottest restaurant in Istanbul. Serving customers with lamb shanks and special cocktails, it is so chill to enjoy the delicacies while viewing the endless sea. Moreover, the puffs recommended by the restaurant staff are also very delicious. What I fancy especially is the fluffy and crispy surface with the thick Turkish chocolate sauce.

Another selling point of Chilai is that customers can board on Den Den Yachting from private dock after a full meal to further admire the century-old buildings along the Bosphorus and appreciate the magnificent Bosphorus Bridge. Bosphorus connects the Black Sea, the Marmara Sea. Shuttling along Bosphorus allows me to cross from Europe to Asia in a second as Turkey, by land mass, is positioned 3% in Europe and 97% in Asia.


北塞浦路斯 Northern Cyprus

古希臘城邦

不少旅客遊歷過伊斯坦堡後,均會乘坐內陸機飛往土耳其其他城市遊玩,但如果希望得到更難忘的異國體驗,在歐亞邊界,就有一個地方有著明媚的陽光和悠長的海岸線,盡收希臘與土耳其的燦爛文化,它便是塞浦路斯。這裡目前雖然較少人認識,但正因如此,不少歐美旅客均把這視為地中海上的旅遊勝地,私隱度甚高。

北塞浦路斯處處風光明媚,擁有不少多元化的美景。位於法馬古斯塔以北的郊區,有一座距今3,000多年的古希臘城邦——薩拉米斯古城。這裡曾是塞浦路斯首都,鼎盛時期城市居民達十萬之多,惜後來毀於地震,才沉入沙礫中。如今走進這裡,到處都是古羅馬、古希臘的斷壁殘垣,奧古斯都時代建立的半圓形露天劇場則被精心修復成當年的原貌,而周圍還殘留了許多羅馬大理石圓柱與人像雕塑等,古典不凡。

Ancient Greek City State

Many tourists will fly to other cities in Turkey after visiting Istanbul. However, if you are expecting a more memorable exotic experience, Cyprus can be your pick. With bright sunshine and long coastline on the Eurasian border, this place entails a splendid culture of Greece and Turkey. It is an attraction for many European and American tourists in the Mediterranean with a high degree of privacy.

Northern Cyprus is a beautiful place with diverse landscapes. Located on the outskirts of Famagusta, there is an ancient Greek city-state of Salamis of more than 3,000 years old. Before it was destroyed by an earthquake, Salamis was once the capital of Cyprus with over 100,000 inhabitants during its heyday. Even though much of the ancient structures now lay in ruins, fortunately, the semi-circular amphitheatre built in the Augustus era has been meticulously restored to the original appearance.


獨特海港城市

位於北端的凱里尼亞,是一個混合了歐洲與奧斯曼風格的獨特海港城市,這裡有著北塞浦路斯最重要和最美的港口,憑其旖旎風光,這個千年前興盛的商業港口如今已成一處旅遊勝地,適合放慢腳步,靜靜消磨掉閒暇的時光。順著碼頭方向走,一艘接一艘的遊艇停留在藍色的地中海上,陪著遠處一群又一群的海鷗飛翔,加上夕陽西下的海面,美景盡收眼底。

在港口處還有一座已近千年歷史的凱里尼亞城堡博物館。館內除可看到昔日宏雄的建築架構,還珍藏了一艘於2,300年前失事的希臘商船,當年它載著橄欖油與美酒往地中海沿岸銷售,在半路上船底破爛,從此沉睡海底,直到1965年被潛水者發現,才經考古學家撈出並安置於博物館中。希臘商船外,還可看到一幅公元1,600年時凱里尼亞的官方素描畫和各種盛放波斯美酒的酒器,可以想像當年這繁忙的港口是歐亞海上交通的重要驛站,為塞浦路斯帶來了前所未有的繁榮。

Distinctive Harbour City

Located in the northern end of the island, Kyrenia is a unique harbour city blending European and Ottoman styles. It has the most important port in Northern Cyprus. With its beautiful scenery, the former prosperous commercial port is now turned into a cosy tourist destination for leisure. Walking along the road towards the pier, you can get a panoramic view of the yachts in the blue Mediterranean Sea and seagulls flying in the setting sun.

At the port stands the Kyrenia Castle. In addition to the architectural structure of the former majestic castle, it is also home to the fascinating Kyrenia Castle museum. One can also see a Greek merchant ship carrying olive oils and wines which was wrecked 2,300 years ago and discovered by archaeologists in 1965. Besides, an official sketch in 1,600 A.D. and a variety of wine vessels are also showcased in the museum. This busy port used to be an important stop for Eurasian sea traffic and brought unprecedented prosperity to Cyprus.

 

 


傳統土耳其浴

北塞浦路斯貴為頂級度假天堂,擁有許多華麗舒適的度假村,而Merit Royal Hotel絕對是當中的非凡級酒店。它位於北塞浦路斯最美麗的海灣Zephyrus上,被東地中海清澈的海水包圍,即使在最炎熱的日子中,也可感受到緩緩吹來的海風為您消暑。酒店共設有125間套房,以僅有的一間皇家套房最顯赫。房內除了有2間臥室,還備有私人陽台及桑拿浴室,且不論入住那款房型,酒店均提供全包服務,讓您隨時享用指定餐廳的美食,帶來全方位的豪華和舒適體驗。

來到這裡沒洗一場土耳其浴,就像到日本沒有泡湯,到韓國沒有體驗汗蒸幕一樣可惜,不妨到酒店的皇家水療中心,來一場傳統的土耳其浴。土耳其浴源自古羅馬浴場,雖然土耳其浴屬蒸汽浴的一種,但其實更注重水浴過程,而非全然使用蒸汽。躺在溫熱的大理石板上,利用室內的高溫使身體發汗排出毒素,再由專人幫您從頭到腳清洗乾淨,感覺猶如貴妃娘娘般,身心靈即時放鬆不少,愜意閒適的感覺讓人一試難忘。

Traditional Turkish Bath

Among the gorgeous and comfortable resorts in Northern Cyprus, Merit Royal Hotel is definitely extraordinary. Located on Zephyrus, the most beautiful bay in Northern Cyprus, it is surrounded by the clear water of the Eastern Mediterranean with the gentle sea breeze. Merit Royal Hotel has a total of 125 suites, the most prominent of which is the royal suite with private balcony and sauna in addition to the two bedrooms. The hotel also offers allinclusive service regardless of the room type to provide a full range of luxury and comfort and guests can enjoy the cuisine of the designated restaurants anytime.

It is a pity that you didn’t try the Turkish bath in Turkey. Fortunately, you can take the elevator from your room floor to the wellness and spa centre for a traditional Turkish bath. Although the Turkish bath is a kind of steam bath, it focuses more on the water bath process than on the steam, similar to ancient Roman bathing practices. Lying on the warm marble board, the high temperature in the room will make your body sweat to remove the toxins. And then, you can feel more relaxed during the considerate personal treatment that offers an unforgettable washing service.


吃之不盡前菜宴

要了解一個地方,首選的肯定是當地美食文化,作為世界三大菜系之一的土耳其菜,絕對能滿足吃貨們的好奇心。酒店內的The Blue Sea Fish Restaurant以北塞浦路斯盛產的海鮮為主,不過最讓我著迷的,反而是那堆數之不盡的前菜,豐富程度甚至遠遠超越主菜。前菜包括蔬菜、各種豆類、牛、羊肉、起司、魚類,有涼的、溫的、熱的,沙拉類也算是前菜的一種。翻開餐廳的菜單,幾乎一半以上都是前菜的篇幅,其中鹹味優格更是當地的特色,吃過較油膩的烤魚後,來杯鹹味優格,健康有道。

Abundant Appetizers

As one of the world’s three major cuisines, Turkish food can definitely satisfy the curiosity of the foodies. The Blue Sea Fish Restaurant in the hotel provides abundant seafood from Northern Cyprus. What fascinated me the most is the endless appetizers before the main course, ranging from vegetables, various kinds of beans, beef, lamb, cheese, fish to the salad. After eating the roasted fish, the refreshing Ayran, the unique Turkish salty yogurt should be a healthy epilogue.


午夜狂歡派對

難得來到北塞浦路斯,當然不能錯過其夜生活的熱鬧璀璨!於8月舉行的Russian week, 由下午至午夜均有不同的活動舉行,務求讓您全程投入音樂之中。每到中午,海灘上會接連播數以十首的動感舞曲,亦會不定期舉行比堅尼競賽,配合如詩似畫的日落美景,已足夠玩足整天;黃昏過後,歌手們如列寧格勒、聖女天團與Timati等則輪流進行演出,舉行狂熱的電音派對;踏入午夜,各路DJ及舞者接力,繼續炒熱現場氣氛,讓您盡情享受音樂與酒精的洗禮!

Midnight Party

The exciting nightlife of Northern Cyprus is doubtlessly recommended! Especially the Russian week in August, which will hold different events from the afternoon to midnight and ensure that you can get into the music all the time. At noon, there will be dozens of dynamic dance songs on the beach or even bikini competitions from time to time. After dusk, singers such as Nu Virgos and Timati may take turns to perform at an enthusiastic electronic party. At midnight, DJs and dancers will continue to bring the party to life and you can fully enjoy music and alcohol!


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