Wow! Istanbul evoked SO many emotions and not all of them pleasant. We had a great time and a not so great time. No one warned us about how tough it would be a tourist in a country where I didn’t speak the language. I can’t say I’ve ever experienced this in all my travels. Ok, maybe in Paris, a bit, but at least there I had my smattering of school french to see us through. I usually manage to make myself understood and try to understand those around me.
We arrived at Taksim Square on a bus from the airport with the address of the Airbnb written on a piece of paper. The first taxi driver we approached looked at it, shook his head and walked away. Chè and I looked at each other in trepidation.
Another taxi driver approached us and while we were talking with him another taxi driver approached us and tried to lure us away to his taxi. The two taxi drivers then proceeded to shout at each other and almost came to blows – I think – because Chè and I didn’t hang around to find out.
We did find someone to take us to our flat but only after he helped us understand that we were on the wrong side of the road to catch a taxi to where we wanted to go! Well… if we knew where things were then we would’ve gone to the right side of the road. But first time in a city and I honestly have no directional perception.
Istanbul is vast, diverse, the clash of cultures visible for all to see, and magnetic in a totally unexpected way. It’s a world all on its own, much like New York. Who needs to go anywhere else when you have everything on your doorstep.
It’s a city of contrasts: new and old, kind and brash, fast and slow. I’m not going to post the usual touristy photos – there are probably so many of them out there. I’m going to post different scenes that caught my eye and evoke a memory or a few instead.
The Bosporus, a major channel of communication.
The famous Hagia Sofia (I had to sneak a touristy pic in) 😉
I wish I knew how old these ruins are.
Through the trees.
Taksim Square – the scene of the taxi driver drama.
More Taksim Square.
The view from the roof of our Airbnb.
Blogging from A to Z posts – my favourite one so far is D is for Durban: H is for Hua Huin (party town) G is for Ghent F is for Flic en Flac E is for Erawan Falls D is for Durban (Memories) C is for Chiang Mai B is Bangkok A is for Ayutthaya