Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Westward to Istanbul, Turkey


I got a great deal on my ticket to Istanbul from Kuala Lumpur - $487! And it was a direct flight! I booked it for September 11. I got really lucky because the flight was half empty! I was able to relax and sleep on the 10 hour flight. I arrived and gathered my luggage then jumped on the shuttle bus to Taksim Square and a 15 minute walk to my hotel. There are some cities you like immediately, and Istanbul was one if them. I was staying at #Bunk which was in a great shopping and restaurant neighborhood.

My mom is meetings in Istanbul on October 10th so I had decided to use this time to relax and wander, no real sightseeing. I have gotten tired of sightseeing and need a refreshing break before she arrives. I need to be ready to go! 

I visited the Galata Tower, shopped along Istikal Caddesi,enjoyed the  restaurants and relaxed at the hostel with other travelers and the local barber, David. I joined Bezel (Jordan) and David for drinks at the lounge/porch of #Bunk Hostel. David made certain we had drinks (even after 10PM) and fresh local food. I decided to go for a proper meal and walked to a restaurant for a fish dinner and live music. It was quiet and relaxing. The owner was trying to marry me off to his cute waiter, Osman. I was even given a delicious fruit plate with Baklava and wine. He knows the way to a woman's heart! 
I did a few things, sunrise walk across Galata Bridge, Galata tower, evenings in Taksim Square to watch the protesters and police officers. 

I wandered the European side of the city and enjoyed it. I went to the  Church of the Holy Saviour in Chora which is considered to be one of the most beautiful examples of a byzantine church. The mosaics and frescoes were beautiful.
I went for dinner a drinks with my friend Osman, chatted with my roommate Connie and enjoyed the delightful food of Istanbul.   
I finally decided it was time to leave Istanbul and bought a ticket to Goreme. I was doing the Turkish tour opposite if all tourists and headed southeast on a bus to the Cappadocia region. 

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