Why I fall in love with Istanbul?

Istanbul Travel Blog

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Istanbul-Apple Tea Man, Turkey

The 1st time I set my feet on this land which I called my second home it was the smell, the smell that attracted me. I remembered it was noon, winter, long time ago and I am so hungry. It was Friday because when the taxi take me to the city, I can hear prayer call, everywhere. I was so excited to smell more. I can't explain this smell, its welcoming and at the same time mysterious but I was not afraid. I was prepared! I've read dozen guide books and I thought that I conquer the language and know everything, I thought I am fully ready. Unfortunately, not! The 1st time I tried to make small talk, I was laughed at and my mind turn blank, and to avoid embarassment, I smile and nodded, like everybody does, don't we? And Istanbul is so huge, that you can get lost at anytime, really.

Istanbul-Blue Mosque, Turkey
I met a friend, Mehmet, he is like an angel, he helped me alot, taught me the proper way to pronounce the words and he showed me the city, in return, I taught him English, barter trade! :-)

That is my memories when I was 1st there, I went back there many times later,  I stopped counting how many times. What drew me there and why I like it there? I really can't tell but I can tell you something why I fell in love with Istanbul. The food is superb, especially the Kebab and 'Borek', the turkish delight is a must and everyone must try 'Baklava', eventhough it is sweet but good for energy. I love turkish music alot, the music are a mixture of many things, arabesk, mediteranean , a bit of latin sound and it make you want to dance and of course if you can move, you will really move (imagine belly dancing, lol).

Istanbul-Taksim Square, Turkey
A few of my favourite singers are Tarkan, Hande Yener, Sezen Aksu, Gulsen and Mustafa Sandal. If you like to try more traditional or they called it Arabesk there, try Ibrahim Tatlises or Sibel Can.

I also discovered a drink called 'Raki', some people called it lion milk but I called it my isotonic drink, it is a popular drink among the drinkers there and never failed to energize me. For those who have looked on Wikipedia what  'Raki' is, they will tell you Uzo in Greek. Alcohol content? check for yourself, not recommended to those with weak heart! ;-*

I love to shop in Istanbul, so many things to buy and so little time, especially if you go to the Grand Bazaar, Eygptian Bazaar, thousand of shops.

Istanbul-Mr Baklava, Turkey
Name what you want, they have it, nearly everything and you can spend the whole day there Shopping. Sometime you forget to eat because there are so many things to see. Yahoo! sorry, I love to shop and try to travel light when you come to Istanbul because you never know how many luggage you might end up when you going home. However, they don't have 'mail order bride'! ;-p

Istanbul have many streets and sides streets, I really enjoyed walking around the city from one street to another. My favourite street are Istiklal Caddesi at Taksim (Independent Street), they have an old tram way in the middle of it which lead to the tunnel. This street is so alive, I really mean it when I said alive. So many people walking up and down the street, you listen to music everywhere, people talking, shouting, laughing, you can see people kissing, holding hands, hugging and once, I stayed at an apartment hotel in the middle of that street, called Virginie apart otel, every evening, without fail, I will put my head out the window and just look around for hours like little kid, that was my happiest moment during every trip.

Istanbul-Turkish Carpets, Turkey
The hotel doesn't exist anymore now, so sad. Like I mentioned before, this street lead to a tunnel and bring you to another place called Karakoy. There is a bridge that goes to Eminonu, a big ferry station. The bridge near to Karakoy is called Galata bridge, at one end of this bridge there is one small kiosk which sell tea and some sweet, I never failed to sit there nearly every night before I leave the city, maybe I am afraid that I will never go back there again or maybe because the view is magnificient. You can see the Bosphorus, the fishermen on the bridge, the sight of Sultan Ahmet area and the Blue Mosque but what captured me most, the smell of the sea and 'the moment', never can I feel this where I live. Each night before I leave Istanbul, I make a promise to myself that I will go back there again.

As most of you already knew, Istanbul is the only city in the world that are part of two continents, Asia and Europe.

Istanbul-Topkapi Palace, Turkey
So the people are a blend of both, which I find unique and special. Talking about the people, the first thing I observed about them are their friendliness and hospitality, they are famous and very good at that. If you are invited to someone house, they make sure, you feel welcome and they treat you like a proper guest. I made and met so many friends and until today, if ever I go back there again, I try to meet them as much as possible. It fun to be around my friends because they love food like me, they always make me happy and they know how to be happy but I make sure before end of the night, everyone 'go dutch' to pay for all the drinks and foods. ;-D

Well, I can go on and on about this city and if you must really know why I fall in love with Istanbul? because I ever fall in love with someone there but that was then.

Istanbul-Grand Bazaar, Turkey
J

sheba124 says:
Beautiful pictures!
Posted on: Dec 27, 2007
sheba124 says:
Love your blog!
Posted on: Dec 27, 2007
strategos says:
great blog with beautiful pics! i can tell that u love that city & i guess ur right! :)
Posted on: Oct 29, 2007
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photo by: Memo