Well That Was Unexpected: A Week in Istanbul

Ahhhhh Facebook. 99% of the time, you’re a home for people to post unpopular opinions and bicker, but that last 1% is wonderful.

During our trip to Greece, my mum was active on Facebook, posting pictures. That was when something beautiful happened; Her childhood friend saw them. one thing led to another, and flights were changed, the boys were on their way home, and my mum and I were on out unexpected adventure to visit her friend in Istanbul.

It’s funny how the world works, isn’t it?

The next week was filled with old stories, catching up, and the incredible city of Istanbul. My mum was an exchange student in Turkey when she was young, so for her it was like coming home. The food, the prayers, seeing her friend. But for me, it was entirely new. Istanbul is possibly the most colourful city I have ever seen, in every sense- the food and spices, the scents, the landscape, the architecture. It was incredible.

We spent quite a bit of time touring.

Day one was primarily history- Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, the Blue Mosque. We spent the day steeped in history.

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Day two we did another tour, this time going up the river and visiting the spice market

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The amount of Turkish delight was certifiably dangerous.

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We found the spice market was the perfect place to buy gifts; teas, Turkish delight, that type of thing.

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It was incredible, between the colours and the smells, it was a little overwhelming, but absolutely beautiful.

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After the market, we toured the Bosphorus by boat, and got to see some incredible old architecture. Fun fact-the Bosphorus splits Europe and Asia!

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By the time we finished up the tours, we were typically pretty exhausted, so it was rather fun spending the evenings in the hotel.

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Pffftttt I’m not spoiled AT ALL.

We also went to the Prince’s Islands, and toured first by boat and then by horse and carriage.

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The colour of the Bosphorus will always astound me.

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The Prince’s Islands were really fun because it is definitely a tourist spot. Everything is played up a bit, and everyone was extremely friendly. We got Dondurma while there, and I finally understood why my mum was obsessed with the stuff-imagine the best ice cream you’ve ever had, and make it better. I was ready to eat nothing else for the remainder of the trip.

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The pistachio was the best. The rest of the trip was a little less tour-y.

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We visited the grand bazaar and haggled(over more Turkish delight), the Ayasophia (Turkish baths)and felt immensely awkward, and ate Manti-something my mother immediately made when we got home.

IMG_0641Similar to spiced lamb ravioli, and served in a yoghurt and tomato sauce, this was incredible. Our recipe(a simplified version using wonton wrappers) should be uploaded to the blog soon.

Apart from touring, we got to revisit old friends

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It was incredible, getting to know Naz and her family. I am so thankful I got to meet them, and they are truly some of the kindest and most interesting people I’ve ever had the pleasure to spend time with.

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We also got to meet some new friends-and celebrate with them!

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Looking back, most of this post seems to be about food. That’s a shocker, I know.

I am so thankful for this experience, for the people we met and the places we saw. This city is stunning, in every way- physically, the people, the history. If you ever get the chance to visit, take it.

 

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