My wife and our mvp travel buddy, "Heather Bri" (shout out 2 ya gurl) decided not to come to istanbul, so this was a "solo man mission." On the way there, Igor and i were very excited to see turkey. he knew about 10 english words and i know zero russian words so our conversation got deep... nonetheless you could tell this was our first time to turkey-land.
before i start, let me paint the picture for you. i'm solo. i'm in a tour group with only russians, ukrainians, and czech citizens. The guide tells me (in great english), "hey, this tour is usually in english, but today you're the only one that speaks it, so I'm not going to translate this in english for you. sorry." i don't care, i'm on a mission to see istanbul, i don't need to talk to people, let's do this!
I had 6hrs to see as much as i could. The bus dropped us off and we ate breakfast. I sat at a 2person table with a woman who literally wouldn't look up and make eye contact with me the entire meal, so things were starting out friendly and fun. next stop: the blue mosque. it was insane. istanbul was the first country to see a mosque up close and personal. it seems like There's a mosque every 100 yards in istanbul. They're crazy gorgeous.
we went through parks, shopped in a leather market, and went through the grand bazaar. the bus took us along the bridge that separates europe from asia and then dropped us off to go on a boat ride. it was dope.
i wish i spent more time there to continue writing about this bad a$$ city. it's very green with beautiful seas and rolling mountains. these days i feel like people get nervous when they think "turkey", but let me tell you... turkey with some glazed MARSH MELLOW sweet POTATOES and gravy go so hard. omg im funny. no?
istanbul felt very safe. the people are incredibly nice, and they're interested in you, so be interesting back!! especially if you know the next 7 hours back home are going to be with igor and family again (long sigh).