Color of Turks
Fun fact that I have learned during my travel in Istanbul last week is that the word Turquoise comes from the French for Turkish. It is a pretty blue to green color mineral that is commonly sold all around Turkey!
I have so many stories to tell each day of my stay there and many little fun facts about Istanbul. 5 days there with my best friend, Hina has been nothing less than exciting and memorable. Our first impression of Istanbul was actually quite frightening! People in the airport were a bit rude and cold. It was difficult to figure out whether people were sneaky and going to attack us as we walked down Istiklal street. Very quickly, we noticed that there were many men out at night and we got many stares. It was the unfamiliarity and darkness that made us feel a bit anxious. That was my first experience of Istanbul.
This experience completely changed on the second day. We walked from our hostel in Taksim (right by Taksim square) to the old town in Sultanahmet. Although it was a very long and tiring day for our feet, we got to see and feel the city inside out. Istanbul is fascinating! The buildings are old and warm in shades of yellow, dark red and grey. There are many side streets that led to more run-down buildings with colorful graffiti walls. This city was built on a hilly valley around Bosphorus river. The dark blue color of the river glows under the sunlight. We visited two mosques, spice bazaar, the infamous grand bazaar and side tracked to many smaller streets. We ended our second day being mesmerized by the Blue Mosque under the evening light. It was so beautiful.
The third and fourth day consisted of exploring the trendier bits of Istanbul, visiting the Asian side, lots of Baklava (for Hina) and shisha-ing in our favorite cafe by the Galatta Tower. Contrary to belief, it is uncommon for Turks to shisha so it was bit difficult to find a less touristy shisha cafe. We visited that cafe three days in a row and made friends with the owner. Hina got to share her playlist in the cafe while we sat on the little stools with our fresh mint teas.
It was difficult to say goodbye and come back to reality for the both of us. It was definitely one of the most memorable trips in my life!