To those of you who have sent the angry emails demanding photos from Istanbul (You know who you are) I apologize for the delay. The fact of the matter is, I took so many pictures and experienced so much in that four day trip that I haven’t really known where to start. Subsequently, I’m going to need to break down this trip into parts in order to properly do it justice.
The first order of business I want to address is the confused looks of some of my friend’s faces (I am imagining the confused looks as most of these conversations took place via internet) as to why the man and I chose turkey for our next trip. My answer is short and simple: Because it’s fuh-reaking awesome. I mean talk about a cultural eye-opener. Istanbul has something about it, some “it” factor I find difficult to describe – but I’ll try. It’s a sprawling metropolis that is gorgeous and beautiful and somewhat contradictory. The heavy eastern influence of it all is undeniable: the smell of tea and spices and roasted lamb, the bazaars, the sound of the Muslim call to prayer five times each day. No matter where you are in the city, an impressive domed mosque can be found within your line of vision.
Yet there was something incredibly European about it too. Istanbul sits quite literally where Europe meets Asia, there is an Asian side and a European side of the city. As we walked through narrow cobblestoned streets and alleyways, perusing the sidewalk cafés and restaurants, I couldn’t help but be vaguely reminded of my times exploring the historical centers of old cities in Germany and France.
This is just a first glimpse of our trip. We learned way too much, ate too much good food, and experienced too much awesomeness to just throw it together into one mish-mash of a post.
And to those friends who first scratched their heads at me (again, I was picturing the head-scratching whilst using social media) as to why we chose Turkey over say, Vienna or Rome…I say I’m trying to expand my mind’s idea of what “Europe” is. It’s much, much more than Paris or London or Venice. My girl Megan has been taking eastern countries by storm these past few months, countries I hadn’t even heard of despite living just a hop skip and a jump away from them…and for that I am ashamed. I’m making an effort to change this, to explore the lesser traveled roads of the incredible continent I now call home.
Oh, and one more reason why Turkey rocks my world:
I haggled a cashmere scarf (pictured above on my head) down to fifteen Turkish Lira.
The equivalent of about eight bucks.