No strings attached

Istanbul Travel Blog

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Blue Mosque. Isn't is gorgeous?
A had a friend of a friend of a friend in Istanbul. That helped, but I had honestly booked this trip with no plan. Yes, I wanted to see Hagia Sophia, but I was in Istanbul for five days with no real game plan. This was all back in October 2007.

I flew into Sabiha Gokcen, the airport on the Asian side of the city. In the middle of the desert. My friend of a friend had arranged for his friend to pick me up. When I went to the gate, I didn't see anyone with my name on the sign.

Reading various travel blogs and reviews before I made my journey, I learned that women are not supposed to look men in the eye in this city. So, I'm trying not to look at people in the face, while looking to see if anyone might be looking for me.
Dog who slept at the hostel. Cute little thing.
It was a bit awkward.

Finally, I see a sign with my name on, and head over. I start talking about the flight and how scared I was when I didn't see anyone with a sign, and how my cell barely had a signal. He kept smiling. I thought it was a weird reaction, so I asked him if he spoke English, and he held up his thumb and finger as if holding a dart. "Little," he said. That was NOT mentioned from my friend of a friend.

So, I'm riding around in the Asian side of Istanbul with a stranger who does not speak English and drives like a maniac. To be fair, everyone drove like a maniac. I thought we were going to crash three times before we made it to Europe. Though he only spoke Turkish, he was really nice. He bought me Sprite and some pistachio sweetcake.

I stayed in Istanbul five days with no tour guide, no group tour,  but I did stay in a pretty cool hostel. I met cool people, but I really should have investigated traveling around TURKEY and not just Istanbul.

I got harassed, well not harassed, but men did bother me. Always trying to talk to me, chatting me up, one guy even made me feel bad because I didn't want to go to his stupid carpet store (btw, EVERYONE owns a carpet store). But, people were really nice as well. Helped me with directions, and tips about where to get what.

I saw alot of travel blogs advising women not to travel alone here, but I did it, and it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.
caldey says:
Good blog, glad you enjoyed the trip. I'm looking forward to going here soon, is there anywhere in particular where you wished you'd travelled outside Istanbul as I'm also thinking of a day trip away as well.
Posted on: Mar 30, 2008
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Blue Mosque. Isnt is gorgeous?
Blue Mosque. Isn't is gorgeous?
Dog who slept at the hostel. Cute …
Dog who slept at the hostel. Cute…
View of the city from inside Hagia…
View of the city from inside Hagi…
Inside the Hagia Sophia garden
Inside the Hagia Sophia garden
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photo by: Memo