Istanbul, Turkey

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Istanbul, Turkey was never on my list of places to visit I didn't know anything about this country good or bad. My boyfriend Jay found a cheap airfare flying out of Chicago for $400 so we decided if we are going to be world travelers we need to have an open mind and I was craving for some culture. After I started telling people I was going they were starting to make me worried because everyone was telling me it was a bad place to go a lot of danger and terrorists there. I googled news for Istanbul and couldn't find anything frightening enough to cancel our trip. Surely there are bad people there but there are bad people all over the world! I think as long as you respect the culture, use common sense, go with your gut ..if something doesn't feel right don't do it.





Since I had no idea what I was doing going to Turkey I did some "research." Meaning I watched Anthony Bourdain's episode of Istanbul and took mental notes. He seemed like he had a great time and went into it not expecting to. On the show there was this hilarious taxi driver/tour guide and I knew I had to track this guy down. Luckily he has his own website and after sending us an email agreed to take us around for the day. Without him our time here would not have been the same.


This is unlike any place I have ever been before. Every step you take outside is a moment in history. Ruins are to each side of you, there is always a new mosque in the distance and the food is a reason alone to come here. We met some amazing people while we were here and felt completely safe everywhere we went.



I can't wait to post about all of the amazing food we had here also unlike anything I have ever had. Even though a lot of the flavors are from surrounding countries it is a small European/Asian/Muslim melting pot! You can find all kinds of cuisines here and if you know what to look for you will find good food. We look for  restaurants or food stands that seem busy with locals this means the food is probably good. It also means you have a better chance of getting fresher food because the turnover rate is higher. Who wants food sitting in a pan for 3 hours under a hot lamp?!?! NOT ME!! The coffee here is not your traditional Folgers either. It is more on the espresso side of coffee, very dark and very strong. You won't see any american coffee makers here or a lot of coffee drinkers. Tea is very delicious here and in the cold weather it's the best feeling to pop in a warm cafe for a tea and pastry.