WARNING THIS POST CONTAINS VARIOUS TYPOS BECAUSE 1.) I HAD VERY LITTLE SLEEP 2.) WROTE THIS AS SOON AS I GOT HOME.
I went 24 hours without sleeping.
I arrived in Istanbul around 4:30 a.m which also meant that it was 2:30 a.m in London. However, the thrill of being in a new city left me in a state of pure adrenaline. My hotel unfortunately forgot to pick me up from the airport so I was left to wonder around for an hour. Thankfully, my first interaction with Turkish people including a sweet and kind guy named Assan who was waiting to pick someone up. Since his english was rather good he helped me to call the hotel and eventually my driver came. On the way to the hotel I was able to see and to view the water and all the cool boats. Once I got to my hotel I was able to check in and settle into my room. I decided that the best course of action was to take a shower and to then to just sit and relax until 8 a.m. I found my way towards the lobby with the little energy I had left and quickly saw Johnny emerging from the elevator. He showed me where the breakfast area was and I immediately found my way towards the food.
After grabbing coffee with bread and cheese I made my way towards sitting with Katie and someone else. Soon Charine and everyone else would come up to me with sheer amazement that I hadn’t slept and that I did indeed make it there. After breakfast we got ready for a walking tour of palaces and old mosques.
We visited the impressive Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia and Basilica Cistern.
After an optional walk to the young and hip section of Istanbul, everyone separated into groups and ventured into the city. Katie, John and I walked all the way downhill which surprisingly took us through some dark and curious parts of the city. We walked for about 2 hours and walked back towards the hotel. On our way there we stopped on a bridge which provided us with with an incredible view of the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia. We grabbed some take away (doner kebab) and made our way towards the roof where we talked and listened to music. It was great. While we were on the roof I was actually amazed that we had walked all the way back. I suddenly thought back to Berlin where our tour guide Gabriel made some really great points. He said that he tend to be drawn to people who possess certain qualities that we admire. I do believe in that. I think that’s why I was so easily persuaded by Johnny to walk that far. That kid loves adventure and exploration. Ultimately I wanted my study abroad experience to be about adventure and exploration. I’m happy that I was able to meet people like John who crave the unknown and have a natural born tendency to explore.
I finally had sleep! Around 7 hours to be exact.
I woke up energized and ready to go.
We were off towards the Grand Bazaar, Suleymaniye Mosque, Spice Bazaar, lunch and then we finally got some free time. John, Katie accidentally found a tulip festival. We then got some Ottoman ice crew and sat on a bench and suddenly we go everyone coming up to us. There was a guy who called himself James Bond and two groups of students who needed our help to do their school projects. We even wondered onto a traditional dance concert. We retired to our rooms for an hour break before we visited the Asian side of Istanbul.
I went to Asia!
Yes, the ferry only lasted for 20 minutes and was very crowded however, it was a very relaxing trip. Afterwards we soon found ourselves all roaming the streets in ASIA!. We once again grabbed takeaway kabab.
That night a few of us went to a hookah bar and had a couple beers. It was nice to hang with people i had never spoken to before. We all laughed and exchanged stories. We got silly and deep. It was the perfect end to my 3 trip to Istanbul. I can’t wait to go back.