Istanbul

29 Aug

Turkey is a country that belongs to two continents: Asia and Europe. I found this to be very intriguing, so I really wanted to see Turkey’s the last european town and its first asian town. Unfortunately, I only had 3 and a half days because my husband was there on a business trip, so I tagged along and decided that it was best to stay in Istanbul and use those 3 days to visit as many places as possible. There were lots of tourists so the waiting time for most mosques and museums was about 30 minutes, plus the streets and restaurants were a bit crowded, so I only managed to see 2 or 3 places a day. But it was enough to blow me away!

Unlike what many people may think, Istanbul is a very modern city while respecting their traditions and religion.The main religion is Islam and there are more than 2,500 mosques in Istanbul alone.

I must confess that when we arrived to our hotel, I was a bit hesitant to about this trip because not many people spoke english, and I was going to have to travel without my husband, for he had to move to a different town (for work related issues). So the language barrier, being by myself, and not knowing what to expect (didn’t do any pre-trip research!) were things that made me a little nervous. But then, I decided that I needed to get out of my room and start exploring, and if I got lost, there were always taxis around that could take me back to the hotel. Besides, I’ve always thought that as long as you behave in a respectful manner, follow the countries rules and walk with confidence (and be careful with your belongings), you’ll probably do well regardless of the place or country.

I must say that all my silly thoughts were proven to be pure ignorance (I accept it!), because not even once did I feel intimidated not in danger. Salesmen were respectful (although they were a little bit pushy, but they did this with everyone). Policemen were very helpful and spoke several languages, just like many vendors. I noticed that in downtown Istanbul, where most tourist hang out, locals spoke several languages (French, English and Spanish for the most part). You can tell locals are eager to receive and treat tourists well, so they make an effort to learn different languages and conduct themselves in a respectful manner.

I strongly encourage people to visit and discover Istanbul. If you keep your eyes and mind wide open, I assure you you’ll fall in love with Istanbul, just as I did.

Have a great day !

Que tengan un excelente día !

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