Recently I decided to stop in Istanbul for the weekend on my way back to Cairo. I had no real expectations about the city except that there were some sights I wanted to definitely see. I must say I was pleasantly surprised and had a great time in Istanbul despite being #JetlaggedasF 😢 😩 which affected my sleep schedule. Istanbul offered me some of the things I desire in an easy, inexpensive travel experience: public transportation that is easy to use and close to where I am staying and restaurants in walking distance🤗🧐.
As is often the case when I travel I follow a schedule the first day and get the “must see” places out of the way just in case I don’t feel like going out the next day. So my explorations included taking the tram to the Topkapi Palace and Hagia Sophia Museum with their beautifully decorated ceilings and lovely mosaics, and visiting the small but beautiful Blue Mosque with its tinted tiles which was all located in the same complex. I explored the metro and went to Taksim square the second day and found a GAP on the well visited, and extremely crowded Istiklal street where I bought 3 dresses…yessss🤩. In an unexpected twist I connected with a friend who now worked in Istanbul and had a beautiful dinner out by the Bosphorus bridge and the sea. This turned out to be quite an adventure because I had to take 3 taxis to finally get there…because well the language barrier and the refusal by taxi drivers to say I don’t know where that is🤔🤪.
So what did I love about Istanbul 😉😎
the public transportation the tram/trolley and the metro was so easy to use and clean
the food was delicious and I ate some really good fish 😋💚
the Galata neighborhood where I was stayed was quaint with restaurants and the Galata Tower was in walking distance. The line to go up to the top of the Galata Tower was insane so I just took pictures and rolled out🙁
the people were especially friendly especially the men when they realized I was traveling alone. I was asked out to eat twice after offering to help me with directions and take my picture😂🤨
the beautiful coastal scenery is spectacular since Istanbul is on the water and so the photo opportunities were plentiful🤩
It is much cleaner than Cairo which isn’t really hard but is still nice and less conservative in that you see people in shorts and strap less or spaghetti strap clothing
What I found peculiar😕
there are a number of big ass stray dogs everywhere and I mean B.I.G. which I assume means that they eat well 😬
the hills y’all the hills, I mean walking was an exercise because the streets are basically all little and sometimes steep hills😓😝
bad driving by taxi drivers because this happens🙁and they don’t always know where they are going and won’t say so – Bosphorus bridge meet up is a great example.
some of the streets are so narrow that most times only one car can go at a time. I often doubted the taxi driver’s ability to turn a corner and get into another street combined with lots of hills so really good brakes are needed😳
I definitely would recommend this city and surrounding cities due to the history, culture, beautiful scenery and gracious people and because I got to take lots of great photos😍. I look forward to returning to Turkey to explore Cappadocia and get a Turkish bath😊.