Existing Member?

Loco for Lokum: on assignment inTurkey The lowdown on winning the 2011 World Nomads/Rough Guides Scholarship...

A Love Affair With Istanbul

TURKEY | Thursday, 30 June 2011 | Views [2346] | Comments [1]

This morning a cool breeze rattles the streets of the city and a splatter of raindrops pound my head as I duck out of my hotel. It is as if the city knows I am leaving her and is protesting my desertion. As if in apology, I give up on my shopping plans and pace the streets instead, the same roads I blundered along on my first day here, seemingly lifetimes ago. Istanbul, once a stranger, has become familiar as an old friend.


I walk through the bazaar where the salesmen see my determined pace and let their cries fall on other ears; through the spice bazaar, where I savour the stenches that will soon be confined to memories; to the square where the pigeons flap around scattered grain and decorate the mosque steps with splatters of white and grey.


I feel a melancholy growing in my gut as I push each scene deep into my memory, knowing someday soon they will leave me. This is what travel is about, I remind myself, each country like taking a new lover, one that will charm you and seduce you and send you packing with just a box of photographs and keepsakes that you can revisit from time to time.

I walk further still, past the Kurdish vagabond brandishing air rifles and a wall of glass bottles for 1TL a round. Past the waiter who looks remarkably like George Clooney and so has taken his name as his own; past the sun-blushed American girls winding scarves clumsily around their heads at the mosque door and the burqa-clad mother beside them whose boisterous toddler keeps reaching to pull the veil from her mouth. I push my feet into the cobbles as if hoping to leave some invisible footprint behind forever. 

The weather continues its dance - an icy breeze, followed by a warm arch of sunlight and a smatter of raindrops – the city’s last flirtation. I feel 
simultaneously ready to leave and desperate to stay but there’s one thing I’m sure of - Istanbul and I are not quite finished with each yet. This is one love affair I’m not quite ready to give up on.



View from the hilltops at Eyup



In the old city


Backstreets of the city



Shooting air rifles at the roadside


One of the city's numerous mosques



Very nice blog full of beautiful pictures and feelings. I hope your love with Istanbul and Turkey will continue forever..

  doruk Aug 13, 2011 4:09 AM

Add your comments

(If you have a travel question, get your Answers here)

In order to avoid spam on these blogs, please enter the code you see in the image. Comments identified as spam will be deleted.

About zoe_smith

Follow Me

Where I've been


Photo Galleries

My trip journals

See all my tags 



Travel Answers about Turkey

Do you have a travel question? Ask other World Nomads.