Back to Istanbul


I have been to Istanbul for the second time. Well, 6 years ago I had a wonderful travel by train from Bucharest. This time was simply awful! I paid for a bed in a private compartment in a sleeping coach and not only did I not get it, but there was no sleeping coach at all. Instead, the train controller put me on a standard class coach from Bucharest to Gorna Racovita (Bulgaria), and from there I took a bus to Sofia, then another train to the Turkish border, and from there a bus to Istanbul. No sleep, no relaxation time, no beds in the train, just 19 hours of stress!


Anyway, I finally reached Istanbul. After checking with the train agency, I found out that the sleeping coach had been removed and I that I had to change transport so many times because of railway repairs in Bulgaria and Turkey. As nobody gave me any notice about this, I asked the Romanian train agency to give me my money back. The answer was: “you have to wait between 1-3 months and then we will see”.  Amazing customer service in Romania!


But let’s go back to Istanbul.  I simply love this place. I feel so comfortable, so calm and peaceful when I am in Istanbul. I do not know how, but this city gives me energy somehow. Well, what did I do this time in Istanbul?

I searched for a clean hotel, of course! :P

Then I visited the Grand Bazaar, bought Turkish coffee, Turkish soap, Turkish delight, Turkish earrings and a handmade bag, which I simply love!! But be careful when you do shopping in Istanbul. The place is famous for any type of ‘original fake’: Gucci bags, Rolex watches, Armani clothes. They fake it so well that you cannot even realise it sometimes, hahaha J


(smoking Narghilea in a shoes shop)
 

After the Grand Bazaar I visited with my friends the Sultan Ahmed Mosque Blue Mosque and Hagia Sofia Mosque; then  we drank a pomegranate juice (their traditional fruit), and we went on a boat to Bosporus to see on one side old Istanbul and on the other side the new one. To watch the dark blue water below and the light blue sky above, to feel the wind waving in your hair, to listen to the water music, all of those things made the  trip on the boat amazing.








 

Well, after that I saw the fish market. There were so many fish species there that I could not even count them. Some of the marine animals were completely new to my eyes. There I saw for the first time in my life what an octopus a looks like in reality, not only on tv. I saw live crabs, fish, scallops and prawns.  You can buy the fish and cook it straight away in the same place, or prepare it at the nearest restaurant. And yes, I ate a lot of fish that day!



 
Then, of course, I ate the best ice cream ever: the Turkish ice cream!

 

Every time I leave Istanbul I feel sad.  I want to stay more. I want to come back.

This time I saw a horrible thing in Istanbul: so many children begging everywhere. My God!

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