When we first came to Europe, Maeghan had hoped our travels would bring us to Turkey. She has wanted to visit since she was a kid (something to do with special ice cream and loving extreme culture differences) but unfortunately there was an election that ended with riots and political demonstrations which we were advised not to go. Then a few months later, cheap flights to Turkey were on our radar, but we had a timeline to follow (as we were meeting up with friends) and by heading all the way back east would not be a good idea.
Well, Bulgria’s adventures were booked on a whim an brought us right back to the east coast of europe. When the idea surfaced again of trying to visit, Maeghan was ecstatic and Oli was down with the idea. After all, it was only a 7 hours bus ride away from Plovdiv in Bulgaria.
So… it happened, we came to Istanbul! And this place is something special. Not only was it nothing like we had expected, we were well feed, had great company*, great weather and boy oh boy was the currency exchange in our favour!
Here are some pictures of our time in Istanbul. ❤
*We met a couple on the bus traveling from Plovdiv to Istanbul and quickly became friends. The hilarious part… I think we are twins… separated by a border. Allison & Lucus are from Minnesota, traveling the world for a year. Allison homeschooled growing up, Lucus was born and raised in the same area and this is his first big trip… so yes… we’re border cousins and we miss them very much!
The man stabs the ice cream with a long stick to pull pieces of it apart. Then he hands it to you on the cone, and pulls it away, then adds more cones, and pulls the top two off, and this game continues until you get it… Maeghan did not get it… so it lasted almost 5 mins and her chocolate pistachio ice cream dipped in chocolate was the entertainment for the block.
All of the diners / cafe’s here are so cute. We tried Turkish coffee, Moussaka (delicious), Turkish breakfast and soup! Oh, and it was all (for the two of us) $13!
We’re a well oiled machine at this point when it comes to our bags. We have the right amount of clothing, shoes and accessories for every climate / adventure we go on! But Maeghan has worn down a few things — in Bulgaria, she retired her jean shorts that were more like rags… and in Istanbul, it was time to say goodbye to her runners (1) because she was tired of everyone staring at her feet. (2) When it rained.. they were not so water proof any more. (3) Bugs, dirt and rocks can be crafty… and let’s say new shoes equals less complaining which makes both Oli and Maeghan happy!
The stairs themselves were underwhelming, but the walk around town was pretty cool. Istanbul has a population of 28 million people!!! Yes, that is right. The city of Istanbul has almost the same population as the entire country of Canada. So walking through areas of town that are not so visited was interesting to see and still filled with colour.
These pictures are pulled from there website, We went to a hamam for a thorough clean and the experience was pretty special. The place we went to was opened in 1454 and is the oldest Turkish bath in Istanbul.
The ottomans did not have a bath at home, so the hamam is way the Turkish people were able to wash, and would come once a week to do so. There would be someone there to help scrub you, wash your hair and body.
We did the whole package, so on top of the scrub got a massage, a facial and a… head massage?
You sit in a chair, and they spray a menthol type liquid in your hair, then rub your head really really quickly. You know, like when you see a dog, and you want to pet him really fast? It is like that… but on your head. And feels really nice!!