Trip to Istanbul Pt.1

I've wanted to travel abroad for awhile now but Joshua was a little more hesitant. For work he was send to Ankara, Turkey for 3 weeks and to my surprise he suggested that I come out and we head to Italy. And so then we kept it on our minds but didn't plan anything because we didn't know what day he'd be done working over there, so 4 days before I left I booked a ticket, and all our hotels, which actually made it really exciting. So 11 days ago I flew from Seattle to Istanbul where I had no phone service and hoped he would find me in the airport, he did and that hug was one of the best hugs ever. And that's where our trip began- Istanbul

Hagia Sofia
We first stopped at the Hagia Sophia because I have always been dying to just be inside this building. It is massive and extremely impressive considering it was built in 500 AD! It has switched many hands as to what type of church it is, it was last a mosque, but now it is secular.

We loved just being inside it, the lighting, colors,
 textures it was a great place to start this trip.-
Also hard to top.

We wandered around a little more that afternoon and ate quite a few turkish delight treats. My favorite treat was a nougat one with chocolate rolled in it and then rolled in white chocolate balls- ah yum!
Istanbul was full of people, restaurants, live, noise (singing was heard 5 times a day for the Muslim call to prayer throughout the city) but it also had a slowness and romanticism.
Also lots of stay cats wandering around, which I actually really liked, they were all sweet.
Also it had a lot lot of dudes selling roasted hazelnut and corn, at all hours of the day.
We had kebabs with eggplant and meatballs at a small cafe which was very good. All the restaurants call out to you and bekon you to sit, most thought we were German, which was kind of fun plus they all call you a romantic beautiful couple :)

Then we headed to the Basilica Cistern underground. It was a reservoir, but now open to the public. It's impressive how large a space it is being held up by all these columns.Also it was nice break from the heat above ground. Carp, huge carp, were swimming around in the little bit of water below which were also mesmerizing to watch.

We stoped for cay- tea at a cute cafe filled with hand blown glass lanterns and people watched. We also had rice pudding because Joshua said he loved it, I was convinced and we got it a few more times.

We ate a lot of Doner pitas/sandwiches and this place was so good and cheap we went back twice that night. Another great food thing was there were men juicing pomegranates and oranges all over the streets, so we picked up freshly squeezed juice, doner and cuddled on benches a lot.

Above is our hotel, it was right in the middle of everything.
It was cute and cozy and had a breakfast room at the top.

That night we took a long walk along the water's edge and people watched, a lot of people were still out fishing, picniking and selling hazelnuts. We picked random alleys to wind our way back to the Hagia Sophia so we could stare at it in the dark. The nights on our trip were so magical to us, almost no people around, not one blocking your view, just you and these amazing buildings in a totally foreign city to us.Plus there was still juice around- which was awesome.

We wandered into the Blue Mosque's courtyard and found out it was open at night so I doned my headscarf and we went inside. Almost no one was in there, we spent probably 30-45 minutes walking inside, laying on the lush carpet looking up at it. We left feeling so calm and all romantic, it as one of our favorite experiences to get to enjoy it's beauty almost alone and quietly.

Wandering back to our hotel we stopped at a terraced hookah bar, because we're actually in Turkey so I had to try it. So we had more tea (which they drink over coffee a lot) and smoked a real middle eastern hookah. It was such a treat to be lounging outside on a warm night.

up next day 2 (sorry I could probably make these posts with less pictures, but I really don't want to :)


  1. awesomeness! can't wait to hear ALL (I mean ALL) about it on Monday! :)

  2. Sorry, I'm trying to catch up on blog reading, finally. I'm so jealous you got to go here. I wish I had the money to travel. I never would have thought to visit Turkey, but this post really makes me want to visit it!