Aufwiedersehen Türkei!

Istanbul Travel Blog

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Farewell dinner.
A lot has happened since I last updated.

First, I left Izmir. I spent my last week mostly hanging out with my family and seeing friends. The Thursday before I left, my family had a farewell dinner for me, with all the neighbors. It was really wonderful but sad at the same time. The tears started when the serenader in our banquet room sang a Turkish song that meant "Don't forget me" and my mom told me not to forget them. Of course I wouldn't. Even some of Tugce's friends that I had met were emotional and sad that I was leaving, including guys. Turkish people are so expressive, so it made it that much sweeter and difficult to say goodbye. In any case, I promised everyone I would see them again, so I will work hard to keep that promise.
The wonderful dinner group!
I am thinking of going back for a week in summer to enjoy the beaches and see everyone.

Secondly, I spent an exhausting but fun day in Istanbul. My family took me to the airport at 6:00am(!), where we met Julia and her family. After some more sad goodbyes, we boarded our plane and arrived in Istanbul at around 8:30. It was a whirlwind tour but way worth it. We saw the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia, walked in the Underground Cistern and saw the Medusa Heads, haggled with shopowners in the Grand Bazaar (we even sat down and had some tea with one of them), tried lots of Turkish Delight at the Spice Market, strolled along the Golden Horn and saw the Bosphorous Bridge from afar, and became hypnotized by the Whirling Dervishes show.
Blue mosque!
Our hostel was amazing, every single person we met was nice and interesting, and the weather was perfect. I was dead tired by the end of the day but had an amazing time.

Finally, I arrived in Vienna. There were some problems with my check-in so I haven't yet settled into my flat/dorm. I'm currently staying with my Austrian buddy and her boyfriend. They have both been to Texas (the boyfriend studied at UTSA), so they didn't ask me about cowboys. ;) They're really sweet, but I feel bad that they had to take me in like this. Tomorrow though is when the German course starts, so I'll be leaving early to take an assessment test and then pick up my key. The weather today was really cold and rainy so although we ran around a bit, we didn't really do any sightseeing. But I have time. =) Also, I ordered my lunch in German. The waitress and my buddy complimented me because they say not very many people like to even try speaking the language while they're here. The Viennese transportation system already has me swooning, since the one in Turkey was so complicated, and it's nice to have a working knowledge of the language.
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Farewell dinner.
Farewell dinner.
The wonderful dinner group!
The wonderful dinner group!
Blue mosque!
Blue mosque!
The Hagia Sofia from the Blue Mosq…
The Hagia Sofia from the Blue Mos…
Inside the Hagia Sofia.
Inside the Hagia Sofia.
Underground Cistern, probably my f…
Underground Cistern, probably my …
One of the Medusas heads.
One of the Medusa's heads.
No one knows why they were placed …
No one knows why they were placed…
Grand Bazaar
Grand Bazaar
Bosphorous!
Bosphorous!
Whirling Dervishes.
Whirling Dervishes.
Istanbul Hostels review
Great hostel!
I only stayed here one night but it was really one of the best hostels I've stayed in. The staff was amazing. The guy at the front desk was really… read entire review
Istanbul
photo by: Memo