Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A First Glimpse at Istanbul

 

Galata1

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.

tower1(from this spot atop the Galata tower we counted over thirty mosques, just in one direction. Talk about a breathtaking view.)

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. 

Tower3

Terrace1

HagiaSophia1

Blue Mosque

IMG_2526


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:

Blue Mosque 3

I haggled a cashmere scarf (pictured above on my head) down to fifteen Turkish Lira.
The equivalent of about eight bucks.

Bam.
Lawyered.

18 comments:

Ketrin Jones said...

gorgeous photos!
this really makes me miss the middles east!! a year ago I was in India volunteering at an orphanage for the disabled.

jillian said...

YES! my fiance and i are going to istanbul at the end of april for a week! i need to email you for suggestions on what to see/ what to avoid! i cant wait for our trip! xo

Daryl said...

@ Ketrin - Hey, I want to reply to your comments but I can't because you don't have your email listed in your blogger account!

I've always wanted to volunteer in India! I'd loveee to talk to you about that!

Mo (New on U) said...

Gorgeous pictures! I've always wanted to go to Istanbul - I can't imagine why your friends were confused that you'd want to!

Anna said...

Wow, I never knew I wanted to go to Istanbul until now! Looks AMAZING.

Megan said...

sigh...this just makes it official that i need to add istanbul to my list of places to travel! when i do...ill be harrassing you for some major tips! my boyfriend never wants to travel there because he has been to turkey...only to the touristy beach resorts which i say THAT DOESNT COUNT!!! :)

thanks for the shout! there are totally so many 'unknown' places worth exploring...maybe we can hit some up together?! (ps: got a job finally so sometime in may i should be getting income and we can plan something for SURE!) <3

gosh i just love these pictures!

Carlie said...

Wow! That city sounds amazing! I'd love to travel like that and live in Europe for a short period of time!

Victoria Horea said...

Cool pictures! I myself have been to istanbul, and I LOVED it.

-Victoria Horea

Jenna said...

Gah, I love this! Istanbul is one of my most favorite cities I've ever visited. The shishas, the shwarmas, the baths, the backgammon, the tea... It's all just so incredible :)

Your photos bring back such amazing memories! Can't wait to see the rest.

xxx
Jenna

eef said...

gorgeous photos! i loved turkey. one of my favorite trips! i think it's just a wonderful cultural blend and so amazing! also, pomegranate juice everywhere! haha

Nikki @ The Ginger Diaries said...

Girl, seriously, how much do you travel!? Are you ever even at home? haha! Okay, that's my jaleousy speaking :) I LOVE this first set of photos :) the views are breathtaking! Istanbul and also Budapest (Hungary) are high on my list of cities to visit :) I am looking forward to see more!! xo Nikki

nancy said...

oh, wow. Istanbul looks absolutely incredible!

eighteenthofmay said...

Wow! These photos are so awesome and I love that scarf at the end!

Oh and you are rocking that new header! I haven't been on your blog for a while so I don't know how new it is, but it is AMAZING!

Say x
eighteenthofmay.blogspot.com

Alex Butts said...

ah love your pictures so much and am dying to plan my trip there. looking forward to all your tidbits!

Sara Louise said...

WooHoo! Way to go on the haggling!!
I haven't been to Turkey yet, but my husband has and that bothers me because 1. I'm jealous and 2. it's going to be way more difficult to get him to go. I want to head east!! :)

hayley [see.hay.fly] said...

pink sunset = amazeballs.

ashley // chasing heartbeats said...

i am so glad you liked istanbul! it is one of my all time favorite places and I can't wait to go back.. I was actually looking at flights last night and am trying to convince the husband that we must go back this spring. flights are too cheap from germany not to go once a year! :)
and that sunset!!!

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