Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Istanbul, Turkey --- Beautiful!

I decided to visit my friend Hulya in Istanbul for a week. Ever since I've known her she's builds Istanbul up as if it's the greatest place so I had to see what it was like. I boarded a plane in London and flew out to see one of the most important historical cities in the world. It is a unique city because part of it lies in Europe and part in Asia. Hulya's cousin, Alp, was kind enough to let me stay at his apartment on the Asian side. He made me feel at home. Most of the sites are on the European side so in a period of 5 days I went to Europe 5 times and Asia 5 times.

Istanbul is located on the Bosphorus Strait, and Hulya and I went on a Bosphorus cruise one day. Other highlights of the trip include Hagia Sophia, Sultan Ahmet Mosque or Blue Mosque (which by the way is the most beautiful mosque I saw on the trip), Topkapi Palace, Dolmabahce Palace, and hanging out with real locals. I would definitely recommend going there. (especially if you can get someone to show you around that knows all about it) All of the food was also a highlight. I ate a baked potato the size of my head.

Me, Hulya, Alp, Jeansu, Mine, Thomas, and Berna at dinner

Beautiful view of the Bosphorus

Hagia Sophia

At dinner with Hulya's aunt and Alp, after visiting Dalmabahce Palace

Ortakoy Mosque and the Bosphorus Bridge

Sampling hookah for the first time. I believe in Turkey it's called narghile (but Hulya can correct me if I'm wrong)


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