Istanbul - where Asia and Europe meet
Trip Start Mar 23, 2010
29Trip End Feb 15, 2011
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
Where I stayed
We had quite a long drive to our hotel as we accidentally booked flights to the airport situated on the outskirts of the city, but this enabled us to see parts of Istanbul that we would have otherwise missed. Besides the fact that our driver was going at insane speeds, my initial impressions of this city were ones of contrast - Europe meets Asia, old meets new, ornate mosques located in amongst high-density living, ladies in traditional muslim dress, men selling corn from roadside trolleys. My senses were in overdrive.
We spent the next three days walking around this amazing city, visiting its key tourist attractions and experiencing some truly memorable moments
- Hagia Sophia
- The Blue Mosque
- The Basillica Cistern
- The Grand Bazaar
- The Spice Bazaar
We have also experienced some very special culinary delights. On our last day, we both had a famous fish sandwich from the port (Lee: The guy shouts non-stop "Balik Ekmek! Balik Ekmek!" meaning "fish in bread"). These were delicious... a fresh breadroll, with grilled fish (straight off the BBQ), lemon, salt, lettuce and a little onion. The Turkish Delight here is also unreal. We have sampled heaps of flavours and the best is the rose flavour, covered in coconut and filled with pistachios! Lee also sampled some corn from the roadside vendors and I am a huge fan of the Turkish ice cream "dondurma" which has this weird "gummy" texture.
A real highlight from our time in Istanbul was our trip to the Hammam (Turkish Bath). We had been recommended a particular hammam from some friends we met in Kalymnos, so we decided to give it a try
Lee: Turkey was our random pick to round out the Greece leg of the trip, but we encountered such great sights, people, food and culture that I imagine it'll be a highlight of the entire trip. Now, to London.