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Saint Petersburg with kids: Museum of Soviet Arcade Machines

Saint Petersburg with kids: Museum of Soviet Arcade Machines

USSR is now left in memories, old maps and nostalgia style cafes one can find in Moscow and Saint Petersburg. If you want to experience what it was like to be a kid in USSR, then you should visit “15 Kopeek”, museum of Soviet arcade […]

Culinary Backstreets Istanbul Food Tour

Culinary Backstreets Istanbul Food Tour

Istanbul is many things: mosques, Islamic art, sprawling bazaars, East and West in the same city- you name it. For me, Istanbul was definitely about food. This was largely due to the food tour I went on with Culinary Backstreets, which showed me a different […]

Istanbul with Kids: Basilica Cistern

Istanbul with Kids: Basilica Cistern

Istanbul is full of sights and quite a few of them are located around Aya Sofia: Topkapi Palace, Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts, Blue Mosque and Basilica Cistern. You can comfortably just stay in the area for a couple of days exploring these treasures. I was fascinated by Basilica Cistern pictures online and was looking forward to visiting it in Istanbul. 

I visited it in middle of winter, so the queue was very short, however if you are visiting in the summer, be aware that you will have to stand outside before you buy your ticket. If you are traveling with kids, you might want to split with your partner, who can go and sit in the shade with your little ones, or vice versa, and one of you will get tickets. Otherwise, if you are travelling alone with kids or a child, bring an umbrella and fix it to the buggy or give umbrellas to your kids to hold to avoid possible overheating. The good news are once you have an admission ticket on your hands, you are going to subside into subterranean kingdom.

Parents rejoice!  The whole walkway in the Basilica is a boardwalk, so you can bring the buggy downstairs. There are couple of places (near Medusa head) where you might want to come down to see things a bit closer, but stairs are small and you will be able to carry the buggy down, no problem.

Basilica Cistern is essentially an underground water storage system, which was built on the site of another temple, so it is quite fascinating to see how something practical has been built using  a temple as a base. The columns are lit up and there is a soundtrack playing in the background. The water, the music and the light create a magical effect, where you can imagine yourself walking in a different reality. It is just very different from busy and distracting environment at the street level with bright lights,  mosque calls for prayers and many people trying to visit the attractions. Down here it is peaceful, subdued and slightly dark.

If you are an aspiring photographer, you can be in for a treat. If you like to play with long exposures, there is just enough light to make weird and wonderful pictures.

If after 5 minutes your kids think that this place is boring,  take them on a treasure hunt. Spot Medusa Head, Crying Column and fish in the water. Or at the end of your visit you can dress up in Sultan costume and have a fancy dress photo session, as there is a small studio set up immediately after you come dowstairs after the ticket office. 

As I mentioned, it was not the height of the tourist season when I visited, but I can imagine the Basilica  being quite busy during holidays or in the summer. If this is the case, plan your visit one hour before closing time. This  strategy worked for me in Aya Sofia, where 15 minutes before closure, I almost had it all to myself, as majority of people were gone by this point. 

I enjoyed my visit immensely and I think it is such a special place, that if you have time for the Basilica Cistern, you should definitely include it on your itinerary. 

Disclaimer: My visit was hosted by the Basilica Cistern, but all opinions are my own.

JulieMay Lingerie: Review

JulieMay Lingerie: Review

If you have had kids , when did you feel you were back into your pre-kids shape? For some people it might be a matter of months, for me it is more like two years mark. The weight goes, but it is the shape of […]

#MeatMatters Challenge: Italian-style Steak Salad Recipe

#MeatMatters Challenge: Italian-style Steak Salad Recipe

Summer is coming soon and I love making lighter meals when the weather is warmer. I like my meals to  have a nutritional value , but not being as  heavy as winter stews or soups. Salad is a great way to achieve this, you can […]

Why I love Bepanthen?

Why I love Bepanthen?

As parents, we all have our preferences when it comes to certain baby care products and Bepanthen is one of my favourites for nappy changing creams. Here are my 5 reasons why:

1. Product Quality

The cream delivers on its promise and whenever I use it, my baby Luca never has any flares. At the moment, as we started potty training, I mostly use Bepanthen at night time before putting Luca to bed, as this is when the nappy will be on him for the longest period of time. 

 

2.Travel size

The cream comes in two sizes 30 ml and 100ml, so you can take either of them with you if you are going travelling , or keep a bigger size for using at home.

3. Baby-friendly formula

Bepanthen formulation has been developed with baby skin in mind. The cream does not have any fragrance, colours or preservatives, there are no parabens and no antiseptics used. Even though, I try changing the nappy as soon as I feel that it has become full, sometimes it is just not possible. Knowing there are no nasties in the formula,  I can be sure that Luca gets the best protection possible.

4.Use from birth

Bepanthen is gentle so it can be used from birth and you can apply it as many times as you like.

5.Solid Protection

When I am travelling with Luca, I am not always able to  change him as soon as I want to. Bepanthen will form a breathable layer and will protect your baby’s skin from irritation. The formula also contains Provitamin B5, which helps the skin to repair its natural protective barrier. 

This post is an entry for the #BepanthenProtects Challenge, sponsored by Bepanthen. Learn more about how to protect baby’s sensitive skin on https://www.bepanthen.co.uk/

Best Turkish Bath in Istanbul: Kilic Ali Pasha Hamami

Best Turkish Bath in Istanbul: Kilic Ali Pasha Hamami

Every single holiday has moments, which stay with you forever. In Istanbul, for me, it was definitely a visit to the Turkish Bath Kilic Ali Pasha Hamami, which has recently undergone a multi-million refurbishment  and was brought back to its former glory.  I have experienced […]

Budapest Guide: Hungarian National Museum

Budapest Guide: Hungarian National Museum

Hungarian National Museum was one of the places I visited, while in Budapest.  It provides a great introduction to Hungarian History and the museum is manageable enough, so you don’t have a headache at the end of your visit.  The museum is divided into defined […]

Review: Procoal Marine Moisture Sheet Mask

Review: Procoal Marine Moisture Sheet Mask

What is your favourite activity on Friday night? Mine are masks, bath tubs and wine! What about “going out, restaurants and socialising with friends” I hear you say. I am a parent, remember? Restaurants will have to wait for the next 18 years!

I have a slight obsession with sheet masks, which I like to put on on a Friday night when kids are in bed, pour myself a glass of wine and pretend I am in a beauty salon. I have been sent Marine Moisture Sheet Mask by Procoal London to test, so this was my task last weekend.

 

As you probably guessed from the mask name, it is made from charcoal.  I recommend that you either put it on when no-one else is around or warn your family that you are going to look a little bit different to your normal self. There is one mask in the packet, you need to peel off the backing sheet and apply on your face, straightening out the mask  as much as you can. Then you have to find a quiet space, relax and let powerful ingredients do the work. 

While the mask will not get any awards for pretty appearance, it will definitely get major points from me for the moisturising effect. The skin looked bright, felt smooth and full of moisture! What I also love about the mask is that once you take it off, you don’t need to wash your face or remove remnants of the mask, you just have to gently pat your fingers on your face to get the rest of the mask absorb into your face. 

I was really pleased with mask effects and how my Friday night turned out. If you want to try the mask as well, use this link to get 20% discount on all Procoal London products.

Procoal Marine Moisture Mask was gifted to me but all opinions are my own. 

Best Food Tour in Budapest: Taste Hungary Culinary Walk

Best Food Tour in Budapest: Taste Hungary Culinary Walk

Why do you travel? I travel for sights and food. Actually, I am not sure what makes me more excited when I am going to a new place: sights or food? Probably both in equal measure! When I went to Budapest, I signed up for […]