Istanbul: View from the Galata Tower and Sultanahmet

As you may have gathered, this was my favourite spot. I stopped by around the vibrant galata tower or walked passed it every day! This time, I decided to give up that 25 TL and take a trip to the top of the tower to see the breathtaking panoramic view of the city. It was worth it. Getting in to a tizz with the security officer because he didn’t hand me over my ticket and he claimed that he did and he was calling someone for confirmation? Uhm? I suppose it was the guy in the camera room? For a ticket. Anyway, I smiled and waved when he gave me my ticket and he sure felt like a noob after that.

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Sultanahmet was an absolute treat. My airbnb host took me there; lovely lad. I suppose it was great that I ventured out with a local because I did not spend four hours trying to find the place. You know, I am normally amazing with maps but, the tiny roads and alley ways… I got a little confused. This was by pure luck and I am so glad it happened: we arrived at the Blue Mosque just before the 13:00 prayer time. The azan (call to prayer) in front of the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia gave me goosebumps. It was breathtaking! There are just some moments in life that restore your inner peace.

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Walkabouts with Levent — Old Istanbul on our way to Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque.

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The mighty Hagia Sophia.

We took a walk around the Grand Bazaar. So many glittery stores that look like they are made of gold and glass. Walking through the Bazaar sounded like recordings of men saying, “Sorry ma’am, this way..” You would almost think you’re going the wrong way. But, it’s to get you in to their shop. Also, every second person was asking me where I am from. Well, the thing is, I am black and I pretty much stick out like a sore thumb in Istanbul.

I also thought it would be a great idea to stop by at the Sultan Family Grave Site. I mean, the area is named after the family, they had lived in the Topkapi Palace. Most of the history of the area revolves around this family. Creepy enough, there were so many stray cats gaiting about. A black cat was on one of the tomb stones and I won’t lie, I was a little creeped out. These tombs date back to the 1500s!

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Entrance to the Topkapi Castle
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Gulhane Park

We decided to take a little breather at the Gulhane Park. Many happy little faces playing about and couples taking a stroll. I was busy taking a photo above when a woman rushed to me, happily shouting, “Photo! Photo! Photo!” Well, naturally, I thought she wanted me to take a photo of her and her family. Alas, she wanted me to be in the photo WITH them. They touched my arm and my hair and were quite delighted that I agreed to take the photo with them. We got some curious looks from the people around us. They may have thought I was a famous person. Haha! Or, not…

On our way back, I had finally decided, “When in Istanbul…” I am vegetarian but I have been seeing these stuffed mussels everywhere! Popular street food. I decided to try it out! It was a m a z i n g 🙂 These mussels stuffed with spicy rice and a dash of lemon juice are known as midye. Great treat after a long day of walking!

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What an absolute treat! Walked until my feet were ready to give up.

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.” — Mark Twain

More to come.

With Love,

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