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The little adventures of Jo! Travel with me on my overdue gap year around the world :)

Istanbul

TURKEY | Monday, 2 September 2013 | Views [413]

I left Istanbul upset and in a rush much to my dismay. I was tired of the hostel and party (!) lifestyle and just wanted to be in the comfort of my home and I longed to be with the people I love. All this on my last day at my last stop of my solo travelling days. An unhealthy combination of sleep deprivation and hormones was mainly the reason for my strange frame of mind.

 
Istanbul wasn't really part of my original travel wish list and was more of a throw-in since I had to stop over on my way to Kenya from London. Looking back at my photos, I find a place that's mystical and it's in own world of beautiful. A city I really actually do love. I was completely in awe of the amazing intricate architecture on display, with the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sofia and the Harem in Topkapi Palace taking my breath away on entry all the way to exit. I also loved the culture, the food (especially baklava!) , the city's intoxicating energy, the friends I met and the friendliness and generosity of the people. 
 
Coming in, I rode a crowded but scenic tram which crossed over the Galata bridge, allowing me to see the mosques and palace glistening in the sunset - a magical scene I was lucky to see several times including on my last day. 
 
I managed a must-do cruise up the Bosphorus, passing little villages and seeing old mingle with the new along the way. We took a break at the furthest village on the Asian side to hike up to its old castle ruins and were treated to a gorgeous and peaceful view of the Black Sea and the Bosphorus. 
 
What I hadn't expected was the crazy party scene which stupidly kept me up till 6am the two consecutive days I decided to join in. While the alcohol was more expensive, some music quite cheesy and boys I met incredibly seedy, the rooftop locations of these clubs offered a spectacular view of the equally spectacular city. And I met some great people even though how we met wasn't great.
 
Overall, though I left slightly upset, I think Istanbul is one of my favourites. I'm sure I will return to Istanbul and hopefully discover more of Turkey next time.

Tags: architecture, cities, european adventure, food, nights out

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