Wow! It feels like just yesterday we were booking hostels and buying bus tickets for Istanbul, and just like that it’s over. I am so, so happy I decided to go because I absolutely fell in love with that city. I know I wouldn’t have known what I was missing out on if I hadn’t gone, but thank god I made it there before I left Europe. Monday and Tuesday were two absolutely crazy ridiculous days, but they were worth every second.
Our adventures started right off the bat. An old Turkish man in a suit approached us as soon as we got into town and not only went to find someone who knew English to read the directions to our hostel, but actually took us all the way there. I will never know why that man had the time or the desire to help six random Americans and take an almost 30-minute walk with them, but I don’t even want to know how long it would have taken us to find the place without him. We took an overnight bus (which means basically no sleep), but since we only had two days we only sat down to eat breakfast and then we were out. After we walked out the door, the only other time we sat down that day was to eat lunch, and that is not an exaggeration. We went to the Grand Bazaar, which is completely appropriately named, and the Blue Mosque before heading back to get ready for the concert.
We found the Grand Bazaar randomly on the way to the Hagia Sophia. The only problem with that was that those two things aren’t even close to each other… Like I said, I was pretty lost the entire trip. We spent over two hours there and I don’t even think I saw a tenth of it.
We had to wear these inside the mosque. I think we pull them off, don’t you?
I think the best part about not knowing where we were was that we honestly just wandered our way to and from everywhere. Walking for two days straight was absolute hell, but we would have missed so much taking taxis or public transportation everywhere. We didn’t get to do everything we wanted to just because of how much time we spent walking, but I’m glad that we got to take our time actually seeing what little of the city we did see.
The JT concert was absolutely incredible. He puts on one hell of a show. And I have no idea how he is so good at everything he does. I don’t have any good pictures, unfortunately, but just take my word for it. Absolutely worth waiting an hour listening to “Some Type Of Way” on repeat for an hour, standing for over three and climbing a fence to find a taxi that we overpaid for to get home.
The second day we got to go in the Hagia Sophia and we went to a Turkish bath, after a serious struggle with the number one worst hostel receptionist of all time. Let me tell you, that bath was quite the experience. Not an experience I’m sure I want to repeat, but definitely something I’m glad I got to do once in my life. After we ate dinner a few of us went last minute shopping to spend the last of our Lira and we ended up getting to our shuttle pick up at exactly the right time. Seriously, if we had been two minutes later we would have missed it. I have no idea how we managed that so perfectly, but it couldn’t have turned out better if we had planned it that way.
I can honestly say I will be back there. Two days was nowhere near enough. I could spend forever just walking down every side street and spending too much time looking in all the random shops. I left my heart in Turkey.