Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Travel Therapy: Istanbul, Turkey (Part II)


Today I am taking you on the second part of my Turkish adventure in Istanbul (see part 1 here).When I decided I was going to travel through Istanbul to Barcelona, my parents were a bit apprehensive because of the twin bombing incidents that had occurred in the Turkish capital of Ankara the month before. I go by the mantra, YOLO, so I was not in the least worried. My dad was very anxious and he went with me to the airport and waited till I went through TSA.

Once I touched down in Istanbul and headed out of the airport, I felt a bit uneasy as all eyes were on me. I did not understand why I was getting so many stares, till I remembered my sister telling me that black folks were rare in that part of the world. Usually I’d take the train to my hotel, but my nerves had kicked in, and I did not have the confidence to be on public transportation in a place where I was a subject of interest.


The taxi driver and the staff at the hotel were very nice, and soon my fears were put to rest. The people in Istanbul were extremely warm, and despite the fact that I was a solo traveler, I did not in any way feel unsafe.  Below is a pictorial adventure of my time in Istanbul.


My first port of call was the Blue Mosque. I had heard so much about the magnificent structure and I couldn’t wait to see it. Unfortunately it was closed for the day, and I made a mental note to visit the next morning. (see post here)
While trying to take pictures of the blue mosque, a Turkish gentleman approached me. We got talking, and he ended up being my tour guide and photographer for the night. I kept asking what the catch was and wondering why he would spend his entire evening hanging with a tourist. I hung out with him but was very careful not to veer  off to any secluded streets


Since I had a "photographer" at my disposal, I decided to strike silly poses in the courtyard of the Blue Mosque


My new friend

How cute

Then dinner time came, and my “tour guide” sat with me for the meal. 

YUM!


It was at the point that my new friend went on to tell me that he had never been with a black girl before, and the reason he was hanging with me was because he was interested in having a one night stand with me!
I almost chocked on my drink when he said this. NO THANK YOU SIR! I shall not be having a one-night stand with you!!

Once my “tour guide” realized I would not be granting his wishes, he bid me farewell—LOL!

The night was still young, so I took a stroll while nicely refusing to have drinks or go dancing with the one million and one Turkish men that kept approaching me

I am not a cat person, and there are strays all over this city--eeek!

A dance performer at an outdoor restaurant at Arasta Bazaar. Once the performance was over,I  made my way into the bazaar

There were so many interesting knickknacks, including these Turkish Dolls in the traditional ottoman attire
 How cute are these print shoes! I really wish I had bought a pair
The evil eye charm and d├ęcor are found all over Istanbul
I stopped over at this spice store and bought a few to take back home. I decided to call it a night, and I retired to my hotel for a much needed snooze fest
My third day in the city was a short one, as I had a flight to catch at 2 pm. My sister had raved about the Topkapi Sarayi, the palace of Ottoman sultans for almost 400 years (1465–1856)
I was up bright and early to visit the palace
Toptaki Sarayi is at the Istanbul Peninsula between Sea of Marmara, Bosphorus and the Golden Horn
One of the four courtyards of the palace
The circumcision room where the crown princes are circumcised
The bower that Sultan Ibrahim (1640) frequently broke his fast during Ramadan
A living room in the palace
Some random fella dressed in the traditional Turkish outfit
And soon I was on my way out of Istanbul

It’s such a shame that Istanbul has been plagued with a series of terrorist attacks since my time there. I’d still love to go back to do the Bosphorus cruise, Gatala tower & bridge, and even visit  other Turkish cities like Cappadocia.

Do you guys have any upcoming trips? Please leave me a comment and let me know where you are heading to for your next adventure.

Happy humpday.

14 comments:

Stephylately said...

Istanbul is one of my places to visit soon as I hear great reviews about the city. Looks like you had an amazing time. Loved this post.x

www.stephylately.com

Jeanne said...

So many beautiful pictures! Thanks for sharing!
♥☻♥☻♥
Jeanne
http://fashionmusingsdiary.com

Paola Lauretano said...

Great pics, I love Istanbul!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Kisses, Paola.

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Emmylou MW said...

You are one brave chica! Thanks for sharing the pics, and your travel adventure. OMG on your "new friend"...I can't believe he actually said he wanted a one-night stand!

Tonkabelle said...

Love this post and how all the pictures tell a story and I cannot believe the "new friend" would be so direct like that. Love how you handled the situation, xx

www.wurassecrethair.blogspot.com

Sarah || Moon + Forest said...

I loved reading this, looks like you had a great time (shame about your creepy tour guide though...)! I went to Istanbul in November and fell in love. I was worried about going knowing that it had suffered terrorist attacks but I felt very safe. I'd love to go back to Turkey and visit Cappadocia.
MOON + FOREST || Budget Travel Blog

MELODY JACOBS said...

Lol all eyes on you.. Your pic shows you had fun.
http://www.melodyjacob.com/?m=1

Idu Emeziem said...

What??? He said that to you? omg thats cray! I believe in YOLO too girl, why not? You look lovely. It's a beautiful city.

http://fashionablyidu.blogspot.com/

Wilfried said...

Lmao!!! That dude is craaaazy! So he tought he's find his "black chic one night stand". That's so hilarious. And you're so couragious to travel all alone. I always think it's a little boring to travel alone and not even knowing anybody where you're going. Anyways, it seems like you had real fun and that's the most important. I enjoyed looking at those pictures and your comments too. Kiss

wilfriiiied.blogspot.com

Andi said...

I just posted a "Flashback" to Turkey from my trip there almost 20 years ago. Happy to read your post and find that the people are still very kind...except for the guy who tried to pick you up!

I thought you'd enjoy this story -

http://andionadventure.com/2016/05/23/life-lessons-turkey-meltdown-istanbul-alley/

Safe Travels!
Andi
www.andionadventure.com

Caro * said...

Istanbul looks marvelous ! Your photos are beautiful. Kisses :)

nedoux.com said...

Hi,

"One night stand" ke?! I just choked on my imaginary glass of chilled zobo. People are upfront these days o. There was something about his eyes that creeped me out. Lol

Ah, your travel photos are always so beautiful. Who dares to tell me that I haven't been to Istanbul? I've seen your photos and it sure feels like I've been!

Thank you for sharing.

Chic Therapy said...

Thanks for reading :-).

Maria Salomonsen said...

Istanbul looks awesome! I've had a visit to that city on my bucket list for a while now..
Hope you'll check out my blog at http://momentumtravels.com
Cheers :)