On the cold morning of 7 January, 21 students from Darakhshan Campus Senior Girls Section, along with Senior Mistress Mrs Fauzia Noman and a teacher (Mr Muntazir Kazmi), headed off to Turkey and Dubai on a tour of eight days and seven nights. The students were excited as the Turkish Airliner took off from Quaid-e-Azam International Airport, taking them to Istanbul.
They reached the city in the afternoon and were exhilarated to see that it was snowing. They checked into Hamidiye Hotel and later that day, explored the neighbourhood and visited a nearby mosque. They had a good night’s sleep after a long and tiring journey. The next morning they woke up fresh and high-spirited, ready to explore the sights and sounds of the fascinating city of Istanbul. The city has a lot to offer as it is uniquely situated in both Europe and Asia on either side of the Bosphorus River. The girls took the opportunity to shop at Forum Istanbul, the largest shopping mall in Europe. On the third day, they took a ferry to the Princes’ Islands, a quaint, picturesque and beautiful location where horse carts are the mode of transport instead of cars.
The fourth day began with a tour of the old city where they visited the famous Blue Mosque and the Topkapi Palace. The Blue Mosque is a wonderful sight with its beautifully crafted minarets and domes whereas the Topkapi Palace, which is now a Museum, hosted many wondrous artefacts from the glorious Ottoman era. It was followed by a trip to the Grand Bazar, one of the largest covered markets in the region with over 3600 shops. At night, they went on a cruise on the Bosphorus, which passed under the bridge connecting the Asian and European sides of Istanbul. The next day was unique in its own way as the students visited the Istanbul University and got a chance to meet the faculty of the Urdu Literature department. They also went shopping for souvenirs and had a scrumptious dinner at night.
Five days seemed to pass by in a flash and it was time to bid farewell to the captivating city of Istanbul. On their way back, they stayed in Dubai for two days where they also enjoyed themselves immensely. They visited the YAS Water World Jumeirah Beach, and Dubai Mall. On 15 January, they boarded the plane back to Karachi, their hearts and minds full of wonderful memories and experiences they would cherish forever.