Day 7: Istanbul, Turkey
We had such grand plans for today, let me start by saying that! We were going to hit up the Grand Bazaar followed by a trip to Maidens Tower and over to the Asia side and then end the day at Dolmabace Palace. Let me fully endorse this day plan to anyone else planning a trip to Istanbul. Sadly, having woken up late and then spending a while trying to buy plane tickets to Izmir the next day, this plan was rather out of the question. It was also super cold out and looked like it might rain, ok?
So instead, having finished booking our next day’s plan, we headed to the Grand Bazaar where there is a lot to see and a lot of people trying to sell you “things you don’t need.” Beware! The first time they say this it is very cute and almost endearing. Once you realize that this is the new calling card of market vendors however, the cuteness wears off a bit and you appreciate the sellers that are like, look at my stuff at your own leisure, if you want to buy it or ask a question, cool. If not, that’s ok too. I think we both showed remarkable restraint in our shopping, me buying two lamps from the awesome and cute Haçi and two scarves and Leah roughly the same. We spent probably an hour in the lamp shop and are so grateful for Haçi’s patience and refreshing tea. A new friend is born!
Shopping at the Grand Bazaar done, we had a bit of a wander and some simit and stopped at the yummy soap shop just down the road from Second Home. Was a relaxing day! When we returned, we chatted a bit with Çan and the other hostel peeps before a nap.
That night, Memo made an awesome supper of salad, Turkish ravioli (yum!), and some yummy little spicy, couscous-ish thingies (will find out name later), all of which were delicious! We continued our evening socializing with some new friends from all around the world including America and Germany. What nicer way to spend an evening than with friends? We were all commenting on how different it is now than it was to travel just a few years previously, withWiFi, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter becoming so prevalent. Before when you travelled, you maybe gave your email address out but likely never corresponded with the person. Now, it’s possible to easily keep in touch with traveller friends. Incredible.
We were also able to sample some Turkish alcohol too, called Raki – tastes like licorice, clear in the bottle, and white when added to water. Yum! With that, it was time to head for bed to be ready for our 5am wake up! Luckily our new friends Chloe and Elaine were also getting up to catch the early airport shuttle so it made things much easier.