A day in the life in Istanbul
A day in the life in Istanbul: Back story
The year is 2015.
We’ve just landed in Istanbul after spending a few weeks backpacking in Greece.
Nestled right in the middle of Asia and Europe, we knew that this place would expose us to a whole new world and it didn’t disappoint. To add to the excitement, the entire country was buzzing as the presidential elections were less than a month away at that point. Although we did visit the Grand bazaar, Hagia Sophia and other landmarks during our time there, let’s focus on what our first day in the exotic city was like.
This is Istanbul, the way we experienced it on Day One.
A day in the life in Istanbul: Wakey-wakey
Now that everyone’s up, it’s time to get ready before heading out.
I hope that you’re, uh, flexible!
A day in the life in Istanbul: Beehive
We head out and the streets are already filled with people.
Our senses are on high alert, exposed to a combination of street food smells, loud chattering and merchants calling out for our attention.
We slowly make our way through the crowd and finally arrive on the shores of the Bosphorus Strait, which is the main body of water in Istanbul.
There seems to be a market on the other side of the bridge.
We’ll go check that out tomorrow.
We’d better make our way to our boat tour if we don’t want to be late. Had we known there would be so many people we would have hit the streets earlier.
A day in the life in Istanbul: Boat ride
I’m sure glad Sophie signed us up for this boat ride.
We can get a better perspective of the architecture and landscape that makes up Istanbul.
It seems as if this city stretched out forever!
Wait a minute…
What’s all this ruckus on the boat?
If you want to know what happened, watch this:
A day in the life in Istanbul: Kitty intermission
We reach our final destination, a small fisherman island with shops, restaurants, that tower I can’t pronounce and a view of the Black Sea at the steps of the tower.
We’re all starving so we’re given a bit of time to grab a bite before the tour starts.
After lunch we still have a few minutes to ourselves so we decide to walk around a bit.
That’s right… we ditched our group so that we could feed the stray cats.
It still leaves us time to visit the tower and look out onto the Black Sea on our own, minus the history lessons that comes with the tour.
A day in the life in Istanbul: R&R
Thankfully, the boat ride back was uneventful; no merchants selling God knows what.
I already lost a bet today, that’s enough.
We’ve been dying to experience a Turkish hammam (bath) so we stop at the Ayasofya Hurrem Sultan Hamam, which has been around since the sixteenth-century!
The interior, which is all made out of marble, is breathtaking. No pics are allowed inside, so here’s a stock image to give you an idea.
You walk around naked with just a washcloth to cover yourself.
After sitting for a while in the steam bath, a brute of a man that looks like a 19th century circus strong man takes charge. It went a bit something like this:
Okay… enough adventure for one day.
Let’s just go find a nice quiet spot and grab some dinner.
A day in the life in Istanbul: Taksim Square
We stroll down Taksim Square, sightseeing and people watching.
Watch out for the tram!
Turns out every night a different musical group performs on the tram. One night it was opera, with an mini orchestra dressed in full penguin suits, and another night was a death metal band.
Hey! That’s the whole point of travel… something different. Right?
Taksim Square is quite a sight to see.
We settle on a quaint vegetarian restaurant whose name escapes me and enjoy one of the best meals we’ve ever had.
Upon stepping out of the restaurant, we notice the mood on the street has changed. Groups have started to form, protesting the upcoming presidential elections.
They have loud speakers, flags and are chanting something.
And there’s the riot police…
That’s our cue.
Time to get off this street!
We stroll, or rather power walk away from that area and head back to a more quiet part of town.
Let’s punch out and go to bed.
I can’t believe this was day one!
I wonder what other adventures await us tomorrow?
A day in the life in Istanbul: Final words
We end up spending about a week total in Istanbul and about another three weeks exploring other regions of Turkey.
To this day, this remains one of our favorite countries in the world.
Politics aside, the local people we encountered and befriended all across the country were some of the kindest, caring people we’ve ever met while travelling.
Asking and receiving help was a breeze.
Striking up conversations was easy.
Heck, we even had a 15 minutes “conversation” with a local in the town of Denizli using only our hands and mouth sounds.
We’ve lost track of the many times locals offered us tea and sweets, free of charge, just out of kindness.
Oh… and the food!
I don’t believe we had a bad meal once during our whole stay in Turkey.
After reading this article, you can see that we’re not much of a resource when it comes to naming dishes or restaurants, which is why we follow foodies on Twitter.
Our favorite being @SashaEats
Tell us in the comments section which foodie you love to follow on Twitter and we’ll check them out!
That’s it for now.
We’ll be sure to have more articles about Turkey in the future. There’s just so much more to tell!
One day we’ll have to tell you about what happened at the Grand Bazaar.
Now go discover and enjoy the rest of our content.
Thanks for visiting.
You can stop by anytime!
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