Greece: Constantinopoli (I went to Istanbul!)


Some exciting things have happened since my last post. That was forever ago, I know, but I haven’t really been doing a lot.

A few weeks ago I was accepted for a paid internship for the summer. Around that time I found out a few people from my group were planning on going to Istanbul, and I figured that that was the perfect celebration gift to myself for getting the job. Plus, I will be making a LOT more money there than I would have at my normal job, so I decided to splurge on it. And I am SO happy I did. Istanbul is an awesome, awesome city. I was sore and exhausted the entire time but I loved every second of it and I would go back in a heartbeat if I could.

We were there for two days. We took an overnight bus Sunday night and arrived early (too early) Monday morning. None of us had any idea where we were. Fortunately, a random Turkish man in a suit saw us looking absolutely lost and actually found someone who spoke English so he could take us to our hostel. He walked us all the way there– a 30 minute walk from where we were. Why this man just happened to be walking where we were, happened to not have anything to do and happened to feel like helping a group of American tourists, I do not know, but thank god for him. Since we didn’t have a lot of time, we sat our stuff down at the hostel and immediately set out to explore the city. We walked almost everywhere. The first day, we really only sat down to eat lunch.

My feet and my stomach are happy in this picture.
My feet and my stomach are happy in this picture.



That day we made it to the Grand Bazaar and the Blue Mosque.

It didn’t get that name for nothing, trust me.
The Blue Mosque was beautiful. And we got to wear these awesome outfits. Double score.
The Blue Mosque was beautiful. And we got to wear these awesome outfits. Double score.
The men at the McDonald's counter really wanted to take a picture with me. Bonus old man.
The men at the McDonald’s counter really wanted to take a picture with me. This is my “what is going on?” face. Bonus old man.

Monday night we went to the Justin Timberlake concert. It was AMAZING. My feet were toast by the end, but he was so incredible that it didn’t even matter.



Tuesday morning we got up early and made our way to the Hagia Sophia. I feel fairly confident that our complaints over sore feet and legs could be heard throughout the city.



Later that day, after a lot of struggles with what was arguably the worst hostel desk receptionist ever, we went to a Turkish bath. I essentially paid 70 lira (that’s $35, if you were wondering) for a half naked Turkish woman to bathe me. I have absolutely no complaints.

Looking happy and clean
Looking happy and clean 🙂

After that we had just enough time to eat dinner and make our way to the pick-up point for our shuttle to the bus station. Literally just enough time. If we had been even two minutes late, we would have missed it. Luck was on our side the entire two days, really.

There are so many things I didn’t (or couldn’t) capture in photographs that made this trip so much more than worth it. The city is breathtaking and absolutely insane. Turkish delights are little pieces of heaven. You could spend hours shopping just on one street. And, of course, the people I went with made it all the better. We laughed, we hurt, we had an absolutely unforgettable two days together. I wouldn’t change a thing. This was the perfect last hurrah of my study abroad journey.

Oh, yeah, I’m leaving in five days. But that’s another post for another day. I don’t feel like crying right now.

Thank you, Istanbul
Thank you, Istanbul

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