It’s been over two months since I went on my amazing trip to Turkey but I was looking for content to get this blog going before I start my summer holidays and since the last few months of my life has been taken up with pre-exam anxiety and post-exam parties, this seems to be the last thing I did that was worth writing about. The easter break before your final year exams is not the best time to take a holiday I know, but getting away from university and my increasingly stressfull student life proved to be something that I was greatly in need of!
Due to a mix up of flights, me and Zach had to fly out from the UK via Cyprus,(I know, what a shame). We spent a good few days literally doing nothing, forgetting about deadlines and dissertations, eating delicious food, drinking and lying in the sun.
After a couple of days chilling out by the sea we flew from Northern Cyprus to the crazy airport of Istanbul. We arrived in what to us seemed like rush hour, but our guide (Ergun) explained that the city was always this busy and hectic. Our guide, by the way, was the most knowledgable and interesting person I have ever met! He reminded me of someone out of a Gerald Durrell novel, slightly eccentric but completely lovely.
It may seem that whilst in Istanbul I pretty much stuck to the beaten track, but that’s the problem with writing in retrospect, you tend to forget the small things, the tiny side street kebab shops, the small, steep funicular up to the Gelata Tower and that amazing pastry cafe that stayed open until twelve at night, but I promise I did all of that too! The name of this post probably wrongly suggests that I will give a day by day run down of what I did, but I thought I would just get things started by going through the best bits, alongside some pretty pictures of course.
The best part of the trip (of my trip anyways) was the bazaars, I could have spent days getting lost in the rows and rows of shops, filled with stacks of bright, beautiful pottery and piles of pastel coloured turkish delight, I definitely made the most of the free samples and failed to hide my greed since I left covered in a layer of icing sugar…
The mosques where another highlight, the skyline of the city was filled with their spires and each day was punctuated with their call to prayer, the one at sunrise was particularly hard to get used to. Considering we were quite short of time Ergun recommend we at least do the two most well known mosques, the Hagia Sophia and The Blue Mosque which were both beautiful. The Topkapi Palace was also gorgeous, poor Ergun was attempting to tell me about the Ottoman empire, whilst I dashed around taking pictures of the amazing tiles and ornate doorways. We ended our day of culture by heading up the Gelata Tower, there is something amazing about seeing a massive city from such a height with its red tiled roofs sprawled out for miles…