Istanbul Travel Blog› entry 1 of 5 › view all entries
I have to admit I went into
My sole interaction with Turkish people until this point had been the many dirty, dodgy kebab shops that can be found all over the world. The Turkish endemic in
I had an understandably skewed opinon. But that’s just one more reason why I love travelling. You are forced to constantly change your parameters, your opinions, your ideals, and you are continually challenged. Sometimes these challenges are light • like trying a new food, sometimes intermediate • like trying a new activity, or meeting a new person, and sometimes - they shake you to your core • like forcing you to change your ideologies.
I pretty much got to see everything of note in the city at least once. I revelled in its sights, smells, sounds and souls.
-The Blue Mosque • one of the largest mosques in the world, and a wonderful piece of architecture.
-Hagia Sofia • originally built as a Christian Cathedral but changed to a Mosque. It’s bloody massive!
-Hamams (Turkish baths) • I visited a few of these. I highly recommend Cerembilitas, but would tell you to avoid Cagalogulu. They are quite an experience and the massage in Cerembilitas was fantastic. After an hour in there you literally float out the door.
-Galata tower • An ancient Roman tower still standing which gives a great view of the city.
-Taxsim • the thumping shopping district which, at night, turns into the biggest party scene I’ve ever witnessed. It was like New Years Eve on acid. What an awesome place!
-Grand Bazaar • get lost in the jungle and find a bargain!
-Spice Bazaar • so many awesome smells and tastes
However for me, the real highlight was the people.
Everyone was so utterly warm and open and friendly. Especially once they found out that I was Australian. People hugged me, invited me in to their houses and just generally were so happy to talk with me. At first I kept expecting a scam but they honestly are genuinely friendly. Such was their honesty that I even had people shout to me if I left some change behind.
If the rest of