Istanbul, Turkey

May 10-17, 2018

Istanbul would be the perfect city to fall in love in. Or with. And I certainly fell in love with it. Even a bout of food poisoning on day two couldn’t keep me from loving this city. Even being followed and asked on dates every single day by creepy Turkish men couldn’t stop me from wanting to live here one day. The rich Ottoman history, the Mosques, the architecture – everything here is dripping in Arabic influence with a quaint European feel. It is dope.

The green spiral is from like 300 BC. Like Bruh. The others I don’t remember, but old also

IMG_1839Hagia Sophia

And my Mosque marathon begins – Mosque, mosque, mosque, mosque, mosque

Mosque, mosque, mosque, mosque, mosque!!!

Mosque, mosque, mosque, mosque, mosque……

GPTempDownload 21EVERYBODY (to the tune of SHOTS by LMFAO) – FYI, this is my Mosque look

Galata Tower – too romantic, didn’t want to go up there by myself

Taksim square and the fancy shopping street that leads to it

A really old fortress that I honestly did not mean to go to… Not sure what it is called, when it is from, but hey! This is the Black Sea. So, that’s cool

An ancient aquaduct!

Rumeli Fortress – the one I actually meant to go to – built in the 1400’s within 4 months and it is still standing today!

Two very traditional Turkish foods – Mousaka and Baklava! Both amaaaazing. I spent a lot of time eating in Istanbul once I recovered from food poisoning

Same lookout from Suleymaniye Mosque during the day and at sunset

GPTempDownload 2

Some super old stuff just hanging out at the Archeology Museum

Like this statue is from friggen 2000 BC – like, pardon me?

I also ventured to go to a traditional Turkish bathhouse. I did not take any pictures for obvious reasons. So, I arrived and the reception guy that spoke English asked if I would like to be serviced by him or by the ladies who do not speak English. I opted for the ladies. I was then sent to change into a bathing suit and sit in the sauna. This is the hottest fricken sauna I have ever been in. After, I go with the lady and she requests I lay on, basically, an ironing board then she proceeds to throw water on me. Kape. Then starts scrubbing/exfoliating my body. At one point she said “big problem” and points to all the dead skin on my arm. Proper exfoliation is difficult while backpacking, lady. Sue me. She threw some more water on me and then lead me into a room to be “massaged”. Massage being a loose term. Basically she called her friend in and they talked about my body/me/God knows what in Turkish while they ferociously rubbed oil into my skin. To finish off they kind of squeeze the skin and then, like, smack (?) you. Following the “massage” the ladies asked if I want to drink tea with them, to which I agreed and we sat to watch a Turkish soap opera together. It was in no way relaxing, but I feel like I had a pretty authentic experience.

Now do you see why I say Istanbul is the perfect city to fall in love? Every corner I turn is drenched in romance. And really old things. And vigorous Turkish “massages”. What more could you want? Nothing.

XO – Kris

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