A Love Affair With Istanbul

Istanbul Travel Blog

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I'm a giant in Miniaturk!

In a leather jacket and blue jeans as promised, Hanifi's friend, Baris, was waiting for me at the train station this morning and it wasn't long before I was whisked away on the back of his motorcycle. Badass! I love motorcycles :) With just the quick 20 minute ride to his place I already knew I was going to love this city-the weather was even perfect, which always brightens my day. From the second I stepped into his home I felt the Turkish hospitality, from him making us a huge breakfast and of course insisting I have tea, (just as just about every Turk you meet does) to showing me around and telling me that his home was my home while I'm here.

Since today is a Sunday, he was able to show me around, which was great. Ah jeez, please don't crash, I kept thinking to myself as we weaved in and out of cars and busses, barely making it through.

Motorcycle ride into the city
As the day went on I became more and more comfortable with this and could feel myself smiling under my scarf I had wrapped around my face to clock the wind. Now this is how you live life! The first stop was MiniaTurk, a park filled with replicas of just about all of the major attractions in Turkey, and I couldn't help but think that i needed way more time in this country than I was going to get. Baris got really excited at the replica of the Fenerbauche Football Stadium, and kept insisting that we be home for beers and the game by seven. This sport is some serious business here!

We also went on a boat ride around between the Bosphorous and Black Sea, and it was interesting to see a city that is Europe on one side and Asia on the other. The more I see of Istanbul, the more I'm convinced that I could live here.

Boat ride to the Asian side of Istanbul and back
It has everything that I love about other cities, from bridges to boats to lively cafes, nightclubs, shopping areas, and of course loads of cultural sights. Dinner was really cool at the fish market where we waited in a line of about 20 people for a fish sandwich grilled on a boat before you, tossing back and forth in the water. Mine was pretty good, but I kept having to try to subtley pick out the fish bones in mine.

Game time came and I was sleepy, but wanted to stay awake to watch it, and I couldn't say no to beers and some good excitement. Time to sleep-long day tomorrow; I think I'm in love with this city already!

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Im a giant in Miniaturk!
I'm a giant in Miniaturk!
Motorcycle ride into the city
Motorcycle ride into the city
Boat ride to the Asian side of Ist…
Boat ride to the Asian side of Is…
Baris in front of HIS stadium!
Baris in front of HIS stadium!
Random fortress
Random fortress
The Golden Gate Bridge? But I alre…
The Golden Gate Bridge? But I alr…
Istanbul
photo by: Memo