Posts tagged Brics

Letters from Turkey: Istanbul, City of Two Continents…

My dear travellers, I hope you are well and ready for a new adventure! After a long break after tsarist Russia, a magical adventure that we all experienced together at the beginning of this year in St. Petersburg, it’s time for a new destination!

Today’s post will be dedicated to the city that I truly love because of its oriental charm and cordial mentality of the people. As a person whose travel has become more than a passionate hobby, I must admit that I missed some little things like the loudspeaker at the airport, travelers who are excited to look for their passports and flight tickets, especially the youngest adventurers who see special edition of M&M sweets in the airport shop.

This time I had the opportunity to experience the ease of travel with the unique and elegant suitcases and travel accessories of the Italian house Bric’s. The Bellagio collection allows all travel hedonists to travel in style with appropriate travel pieces that captivate with true elegance, while on the other hand, the Life Pelle collection nurtures the beauty of leather travel pieces with which you can travel around the world.

Italian fashion house Bric’s is the best ally for any trip with style: the Bellagio Trolley Organizer and the backpack from the Life Pelle collection.

Bric’s story begins with Mr. Mario Briccola’s dreams of quality luggage and leather goods in 1952 in the Como region. The brand has become internationally known for its handmade luggage made of the finest Tuscan leather and the most modern, durable nylon. Although Bric’s has now outgrown the original workshop, love and a personal stamp for every piece made are still present in every piece today.

Now the second generation of the Briccola family is providing its heritage of quality, style and attention to detail which Mr. Mario Briccola started. Known as the best Italian brand for luggage quality, Bric’s continued to justify its reputation. From luggage over handbags to spacious cosmetic bags and accessories quality workmanship is easily noticeable.

Using only the finest materials such as micro antelope skin that is resistant to all weather conditions and leather tanned in plants, Bric’s luggage is made to withstand everything and give you a sense of security and the beauty of travel in style.

With several leading stores around the world, Bric’s continues to develop Mario Briccola’s dream and becomes a world-renowned brand in the field of travel. Bric’s is a story about family, hard work, crafts and a company where dreams really come true.

This adventure would not have been possible without the cordial support of my friends from Air Montenegro who allowed me to feel the beauty and security of traveling during the pandemic.

Air Montenegro is a new airline founded by the Government of Montenegro at the beginning of 2021. The first flight of this company was made in June this year. Air Montenegro’s vision is to be one of the key pillars of tourism, to support the national economy and the economy as a sustainable company that will create a large number of jobs and reduce unemployment in Montenegro.

Responsible and sustainable business positively affect long-term relationships with society, resources and the environment. Air Montenegro also takes care of the safety and health of passengers and employees. It is important to note that Air Montenegro has received the international Safe Travels badge.

“Safe Travel” is a special tourist label that allows travelers to identify destinations and companies around the world, which in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 have adopted global standards of health and hygiene.

Air Montenegro joined the European Association of Airlines of the Region (ERA) in October this year. One of the main goals of the Association, which has over 55 airlines, is to represent the interests of all members before major European regulators, governments and legislators in order to encourage and develop awareness of long-term and sustainable growth for the sector and the airline industry.

The first commercial flight of this company was on the route Podgorica – Sarajevo on June 1, 2021, as part of the Montenegrin national football team that traveled to Sarajevo. Regular commercial traffic of Air Montenegro was launched on June 10 with the route Podgorica – Belgrade. The fleet of this young airline consists of Embraer 195 medium-range passenger planes.

For all fans of the Montenegrin coast, the airline Air Montenegro has special offers for flights Frankfurt – Podgorica and Ljubljana – Podgorica and Tivat as well. These flights are performed throughout the year, so you have the opportunity to enjoy the natural wild beauty of Montenegro throughout the year. Also, one of the destinations in the region that you can visit with Air Montenegro is Banja Luka, which proudly bears the title of “Green Valley” as a symbol of beauty and greenery.

In today’s post, I will share my adventure and what a trip with Air Montenegro to Oriental Istanbul looks like! If you are ready to feel the magic of traveling during the New Year holidays, visit the Air Montenegro website and book your seat by the window so you can enjoy the enchanting view!

To get to magical Istanbul, the first thing you need to do is head to beautiful Tivat where you have two options: take a break and enjoy the beauties of Tivat and its surroundings or continue your journey to Istanbul and maybe during the return to experience the charms of wonderful Montenegro.

The flight to Tivat is maybe short, but the picturesque landscapes that you will have the opportunity to see will be worth as a new life experience that will not be forgotten. My sincere advice is to prepare your phones and capture these moments when you fly over the mountain ranges and suddenly see the beauty of the Montenegrin coast, these contrasts are just amazing!

Since I had the opportunity to visit Podgorica a few years ago, it was a great pleasure for me to have the opportunity to see what the Mediterranean part looks like and to feel the beauty of the coastal landscapes.

Just landing at the airport in Tivat was a fantastic experience because you have the opportunity to see the Bay of Kotor. I have always been fascinated by airports located by the water. As it was cold and changeable in Belgrade, the weather in Tivat was unusually warm and sunny for this time of year!

Do you remember the possibilities I mentioned a moment ago? I decided that due to the terms of the consultation with the doctors and procedures that awaited me in Turkey, it was best to continue my journey to Istanbul, so I had at least 2 hours to enjoy the beauty and smell of water in the Mediterranean.

The time at the airport passed quickly, while I picked up my suitcase and performed all the necessary procedures, it was time to board the second flight to my final destination – Istanbul.

The flight Tivat – Istanbul lasts about an hour and a half, maybe about 1 hour and 45 minutes, just enough to enjoy “life in the clouds”. Istanbul has more airports, it is important to know that Air Montenegro planes land at the new international airport in Istanbul. Refreshment and in-flight snacks are available on all Air Montenegro flights.

ISTANBUL

Are there words that can describe this picturesque metropolis that today has over 15 million inhabitants, yes you read well over 15 million people live in Istanbul! Some sources unofficially claim that about 20 million people live in Istanbul, but that is unconfirmed information. Honestly, I believe that about 18 million people live in Istanbul, so maybe the truth is somewhere in the middle.

Why do all roads lead to Istanbul today? Istanbul is considered the economic, social and cultural center of the Republic of Turkey. In addition, Istanbul is one of the most populous cities in the world, the seventh largest city in the world and the largest city in Europe. Istanbul is considered a bridge between East and West.

I admit that I have been to Istanbul more times than I have years and this city is one of my favorites because it has that unusual oriental charm and it is a city that never sleeps! There are many reasons why tourists come to Istanbul today, many come for good shopping, some for visiting cultural heritage, while some like me come this time for the famous medical tourism.

Taksim Square, located in the Beyoglu district in the European part of Istanbul, is a major tourist and recreational district known for its restaurants, shops and hotels. It is considered the heart of modern Istanbul with the central station of the Istanbul metro network. Taksim Square is also famous for the monument of the Republic, which you can see better in my picture with a simit (bagel).

Don’t miss the opportunity to catch the famous red tram number two and ride along the entire Istikal Street. It is a unique experience and will be remembered for a lifetime!

When you come to Istanbul, on the streets of the city you will notice the curled heads of men who have had hair transplants, masks on the noses of men and women who have solved their health and aesthetic problem, of course there are women in their golden age who proudly show that have regained their youth.

Since I came to Istanbul this time with the intention of helping myself, I did something beautiful and useful for myself in order to improve my health and beautify myself, I counted in myself how many people on the street really did something for themselves.

I admit that at first I was amazed while pulling the suitcase, I was not very active in counting, but I think I met at least 30 people who had some aesthetic procedure, mostly nose surgery or hair transplantation.

Turkish plastic surgeons are considered one of the best in Europe, perhaps even in the world. Also, other branches of medicine have been developed, especially oncology, which unfortunately has an increasing number of cases and patients come to Turkey to find a cure and their salvation.

In addition to aesthetic and plastic surgery, dental services are represented in Turkey, as well as services related to gastric surgery, procedures that enable significant and permanent weight loss.

Since many of you contacted me about obesity surgery while I was in Istanbul, I inquired a little about these interventions. Gastric surgery as part of obesity surgery is drastically cheaper in Turkey than in other countries in Europe and the world as well. Due to the large number of patients coming from Europe and the world, Turkish doctors have gained experience. Since there are several types of procedures related to obesity surgery, I am not competent to talk about it in more detail, but I can tell you that the prices are quite cheaper than in Germany.

Many people from Europe and the world went to Istanbul to solve this health problem and really managed to lose weight, but I note that it is necessary to be careful and choose the right clinic for any type of intervention. Obesity is a serious health problem and surgery to reduce the weight is serious and you need to find the right doctor to help you.

Most people who followed my experience on social media were interested in how medical tourism works in Turkey. Is it really based on the principle “you come in, go out and it’s over” and after a few days you just fly back home or is it just a fairy tale.

When it comes to plastic surgery, everything is extremely simple. The most important thing is not to make a mistake in the initial selection of the clinic and the doctor, and everything else goes according to plan. The second step is arranging an arrival in Turkey and the first consultation with a selected plastic surgeon.

At the first consultation, you meet the doctor and try to explain all your wishes in more detail so that the doctor understands the reason for your visit, as I explained in detail what bothers me on my nose and face in general. When it comes to communicating with the staff at the clinic, a large number of clinics have staff who speak some of the languages from your country or hire an interpreter who spends time with you at the clinic, as well as afterwards during the operation.

When you have finished the first consultation with your chosen doctor, his assistant will schedule an intervention. Sometimes the clinic immediately offers you the date of the operation, but in most cases the clinic schedules a consultation with the patient in the period when it can perform the intervention, so that enough time is left for the patient to decide after the first consultation.

Local transport around Istanbul, hotel – clinic – hotel is free in most cases so you don’t have to worry about how to get to the clinic and back to the hotel, everything is already organized. As for accommodation (hotels) when you go to Istanbul on this occasion, clinics mostly offer packages where hotels + transport around Istanbul and airport transportation and interventions are included in the price, but it is necessary to agree with the clinic in advance.

My mom and I were given an appointment for surgery which was two days after the first consultation so everything was very fast. You can use your free time to explore Istanbul.

Also a question which was repeated many times was the time which you need to spent in Istanbul during the visit. Depending on the type of intervention, the period that needs to be spent in Istanbul also depends. Calculate that plastic surgery takes between 10 and 15 days, depending on the procedure you are performing.

These were just introductory information about medical tourism, you will get all the more detailed information in my next blog post which will be dedicated to the operations that my mom and I did in Istanbul.

This post will be interesting to you as a kind of tourist guide that you can visit and see in Istanbul before and after the procedure. The operations did not slow me down too much, maybe I rested for 2-3 days and after that I went out on the street to see people and try various Turkish delights!

Everyone who goes to Istanbul for the first time is eager to explore this city and that is why they first head to Fatih, the part of the city where Hagia Sophia is located, the Blue Mosque and other sights for which Istanbul is famous. Of course, there is also the Capali Carsi in the neighborhood (the famous Grand Bazaar) where you can shop for interesting leather goods, sweets and souvenirs. When going to the Grand Bazaar, prepare your negotiating skills because Turks are known as skilled traders and bargaining is an integral part of negotiations. Take 1 to 2 days to tour this part of the city, depending on how interested you are about this kind of sights and shopping.

When you are done with the cultural uplift so that you can brag to your neighbors and friends about seeing some important sights in Istanbul, you can choose whether you are more for a shopping marathon (shopping without borders) or a cruise.

Istanbul is a promised paradise for all shopaholics, without false promises Istanbul is a place where there is a price range from the cheapest brands you can imagine, affordable jewelry and interesting things to extremely expensive things. No one was left empty-handed in this city, everyone found something for themselves and bought it, whether it was a small thing or an expensive thing.

If you are a fan of luxury fashion, and honestly your budget can’t afford it, there are more than 10 outlet shopping malls that are bigger than usual shopping centres in Germany and Europe so you can find everything your heart desires from the most famous brands from previous seasons.

The most famous outlet shopping malls are: Optimum Outlet, Viaport Outlet, Starcity Outlet.

Of course there are others, but these are with a better offer of brands. These shopping malls are located on the outskirts of the city, so get ready for an adventure in local transport. It can be an interesting and unforgettable adventure!

My hotel was close to Nisantasi, a paradise for luxury shopping where you can find all the world famous luxury brands such as Louis Vuitton, Hermes, Berlutti, Max Mara, Gucci and others.

Currently, the choice of brands on Nisantashi has been reduced as all the big fashion houses have moved to big malls like Istinye Park, Emaar Square Mall (new mall), Kanyon Mall and Zorlu Mall.

During my last visit to Istanbul, I visited all the mentioned shopping malls, but as soon as I took out my professional camera, security guards came to warn me that photography is not allowed, so unfortunately you will be abridged the modernist beauties of luxury shopping malls in Istanbul, so you will need to feel it by yourself especially now when seasonal sales starts.

Nisantasi is a meeting place for Turkish designers, so if you happen to pay attention, you will notice numerous fashion ateliers that simply entice customers with their creations to look at their latest collections. Diamonds on the dress, no problem! Everything can be found in this city which is located at the crossroads of East and West.

Due to that fact, Istanbul has become a paradise for shopaholics from the Far and Middle East who come to Istanbul to feel the European version of the Oriental East.

Nisantasi is a popular district of Sisli district on the European side of Istanbul. It consists of settlements such as Tesvikije, Mačka, Osmanbey and Pangalti. A popular shopping and residential district, it is one of the most exclusive districts of Istanbul.

Here, as I just mentioned, you can find stores of the most famous fashion brands, department stores, cafes, pubs, restaurants and nightclubs. Abdi Ipekci Street, the most expensive shopping street in Turkey in terms of rental prices, stretches from the Macka and Tesvikiye districts to the center of Nisantasi.

The Nisantasi district is unrivaled in terms of entertainment and cultural content. High class restaurants, cafes and pubs with various additional activities. In the neighboring areas there are large shopping malls such as Cevahir Mall which can be easily reached by public transport or a short walk.

Pangalti, which connects Nisantashi with Mecidiyeköy, is full of local shops and brands. In other words, Nisantasi can give you the opportunity to enjoy prestige and luxury with the ability to have everything at your fingertips.

When I’m on Nisantasi, I always like to go down to the neighboring district of Besiktas, the area where the famous stadium of the famous Turkish club is located and the part that goes out on the Bosphorus. The water always relaxes me and I like to watch the boats and seagulls that adorn this idyllic picture of Istanbul.

Besiktas is located on the European shores of the Bosphorus. The district encompasses important landmarks along the European shores of the Bosphorus, from the Dolmabahçe Palace in the south to the Bebek area in the north.

This area is home to lesser-known neighborhoods overlooking the Bosphorus where you have the opportunity to see expensive villas in Turkish series that we love to watch. I sincerely love this district because of the opportunity to go ashore and see the boats and to enjoy the beauty of the Dolmabahçe Palace, which I sincerely advise everyone to visit when they come to Istanbul.

Although this is a relatively small district of Istanbul, both in terms of population and area, Besiktas is one of the most important areas of the city due to its business and trade zones, historical institutions, universities and of course the fabulous view of the Bosphorus and waterways.

The photo was taken 7 days after the aesthetic procedure

OUTFIT

Jacket: Paul & Shark

Backpack: Bric’s

Jeans: Brunello Cucinelli

Bric’s backpack from the Life Pelle special collection

Here on the coast you can see locals resting and fishing, all the way to those curious tourists like me who came to admire Istanbul and experience this view of Istanbul and the Bosphorus, which we only have the opportunity to see every day in favorite Turkish soap operas.

In addition to shopping, Istanbul is ideal for gourmets because Turkish cuisine is rich and their specialties are unique. If you are more of a street food lover then only three words are allowed: Doner, Börek and Simit. Doner is like Greek gyros that is made exclusively in Turkey with chicken and veal meat with various side dishes, the price of one doner portion varies from 12 to 35 lira depending on the portion size and additives.

Börek is known to everyone, pastry that you will not forget, the price of one serving of Borek is around 15 to 20 lira and finally Simit who never let me down on the street because on every corner in Istanbul you can see an interesting red stroller with bagels that currently cost 2.50 Turkish lira , about 23-25 euro cents. To understand the ratio currency, 1 euro is worth between 11 and 12 Turkish lira.

Istanbul is a city that you just have to love because it gets under your skin. It is a city that awakens a special kind of emotion in everyone. Istanbul is a city with many faces and I am sure that each of you will find at least one that you will adore. This is a city that will delight you every time you visit.

Some people say that it is necessary to come to Istanbul at least until you find at least one answer to the famous question: “Why do you love Istanbul?“.

Every good adventure has its beginning and end, so after less than 3 weeks in beautiful Istanbul it’s time to go home… This adventure was special for me because I fulfilled my greatest wishes and thank you to everyone who took the time to send quick message and to give me words of support. In a few days I will share with you my experience and what my makeover process looked like.

At the very end of this post, I would like to take this opportunity to thank my friends from Air Montenegro who made it possible for my adventure to be just perfect. I sincerely hope that we will meet soon be again and discover the world together.

I invite all travel lovers to visit the official website of the new airline Air Montenegro and book your ticket to Montenegro or some European metropolis! They say that the New Year in Montenegro is magical, it’s worth checking out!

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Bric’s for their trust and look forward to being a member of the Bric’s family and I am confident that together we will embark on new adventures early next year and write some new travel pages of the Mr.M online diary!

My dear adventurers, we have come to the end of this first special post from Turkey which would not have been possible without the selfless help of Air Montenegro and Arpanu Medical Group, partners who made it possible for me to share my impressions of medical tourism in Turkey.

Time always flies when a person has a good time! A man is rich at heart if he has managed to explore the world and I am glad to always be able to find suitable partners for my projects that allow me to discover some destinations in a completely different way during this global health crisis COVID-19.

I am honored to have the opportunity to work with companies that are at the very top in each industry and I would like to thank them for this amazing adventure and for allowing me to experience the charms of Istanbul in a completely different way.

How did you like this story of mine about Istanbul? Have you had the opportunity to visit this magical city so far?

If you have a question, comment, suggestion or message for me you can write to me below in the comments. Of course, you can always contact me via email or social networks and you can find it on the CONTACT page. See you in the same place in a couple of days, with a new story!

Blogger greetings from Istanbul,

Mr.M

This post is sponsored by national airline carrier Air Montenegro, brands Bric’s, Brunello Cucinelli, Paul & Shark, and Arpanu Medical Group which represents my personal and honest review of their products and services.

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