The Other Side of Istanbul

Istanbul

So you might have noticed I haven’t been keeping up this blog. I’m still not sure if I plan to or not but there’s some things I just HAD to share.

So what’s happened since I last wrote? Well, I travelled through parts of Europe (Italy, France & Spain) and lived in Morocco for 3 months. The last month and a half I’ve been in Turkey, which might just be my favourite place so far!

Last week I went on a day tour in Istanbul that was different than any other I’d ever been on. It didn’t go to the usual tourist traps, in fact it pointedly avoids them! Instead we saw a piece of authentic Turkish life that normally wouldn’t be experienced by people travelling through. Each day that the tour runs it’s a bit different, since real life is not the same every day.

When we went, we got to visit a (non-touristic) bazaar (and I hear what you’re thinking… ‘ah, so they try to get you to buy stuff from their friends’.. nope, not one little drop of pressure, or even mention of buying anything but they were happy to help when one of the group wanted to know how much something should cost.), areas of town that I’d never even heard of after being here for well over a month and that had a fascinating history!

For me the best part was lunch which was a home-made Turkish meal. Now, anyone that knows me knows I’m a very picky eater and a veggie so usually a meal in a situation like this is a bit scary, but not only was it some of the best food I’ve ever tasted they had made sure there was a lot of vegetarian options! The tour ended inside an underground palace, which has just been discovered in the 1990s and is still mostly buried. Very atmospheric and a perfect ending to a great day.

{ 17 comments }

BrotherMycroft April 8, 2011

It’s good to see you are doing well. Sounds like you are really enjoying Turkey!

Catia April 12, 2011

I really am, Turkey is such a friendly place… and the history is fascinating!

Gaby April 12, 2011

Hi,
I really liked this post! I was in Istanbul over the summer and it really is such a great city to explore! Next time I’m there I’ll be sure to find this tour group…they seem awesome!
-Gaby

Catia April 12, 2011

They really are, it’s by far one of the best day tours I’ve ever been on.

Cailin May 22, 2011

It’s always refreshing when you realize that you are seeing things outside of the norm and actually getting home cooked meals and almost experiencing a place like the locals do. I bet that bazaar was pretty awesome :)

jasmine May 31, 2011

Sounds wonderful. I wish I could afford to visit such rich cultured, and old nations such as Turkey :( Someday! :D

Waikiki Beach Bum August 11, 2011

I haven’t made it over as far as Turkey yet, but your post is really giving me an itch to get over there! Do they have nice beaches?

Shellz September 17, 2011

Hey! We’re at the start of planning a year long around the world the world trip, and I stumbled across your blog while researching. I will have a good read…you seem to have lots of great tips that will definitely be helpful!

The Nomad Grad September 20, 2011

So cool to read about fellow travelers! Can’t wait to see where you go next!
Best,
HB
nomadgrad.com

mina October 4, 2011

I hope you post about your time in Morocco! I’ll be there in December and would love to read your take on it.

Sam November 3, 2011

And are you still travelling now?

TheNomadicNepali March 11, 2012

wow..flipping through individual travel blogs are always interesting..as it gives something new to read and you feel as if you are travelling..Keep writing..and offcourse..travel lot and lot..

Hannah April 17, 2012

I’ll be going to Turkey soon. Can you give the name of the tour and where/how to find it. I would love to take it!

thanks,
Hannah

Micki@TheBarefootNomad June 2, 2012

That sounds amazing! I’m a veggie too, and I definitely understand your apprehension. Generally, those group tour meals are not geared to alternative taste. Can’t tell you how many times I’ve eaten potatoes and salad at BBQ. :)

Keep up the writing!
I’d love to hear more about Morocco and Turkey – they’re very high on the list for our next trip.

Bianca December 19, 2012

Istanbul is on my list for 2013. thanks for sharing your experiences! I just read your “about me” and I’m impressed :) I’m a huge fan of travelling as well. It really teaches you the most about yourself :) Good luck on your journey :) and dont ever forget to blog ;)

Sacha March 30, 2013

Where about’s did you live in Morocco? I got married there in 2011 and we are hoping to move there ourselves in a couple of years. How did you find living there?

aftas surf May 20, 2013

I heard a lot about Moscow and I wondering if could visit it next year , I like to visit saint-petersburg as well .

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