While J was back in the states for three weeks, I had the opportunity to visit a friend in Istanbul during the first week of February. This friend and I met while we were both in graduate school at Indiana University. She’s originally from Turkish Cyprus, and she moved to Istanbul this fall to complete a PhD program in Anthropology. As luck would have it, her winter break lasted from early January to mid-February, so it was the perfect time visit.
Istanbul is such an incredible city! I felt really fortunate to be staying with a friend who could help me to get a feel for what it’s like to live while still showing me the most popular tourist destinations. After reflecting on my reactions and impressions of that 15-million strong city, I honestly think that my time in Adana caused me to have quite a different reaction than most visitors from the U.S. or Western Europe. I kept noticing how *European* it seemed–from the architecture to the cobbled streets and sidewalks to the weather and to the bakeries and coffee shops. We diligently visited the Spice Bazaar and the Grand Bazaar and the Sultanahmet district. While the neverending shops and beauty of the Hagia Sophia and Sultan Ahmet mosque certainly impressed me, the things that I ogled most included the quirky Alice-in-Wonderland look of tucked-away “French Street,” the liveliness of the Taksim district, the fish restaurants on Nevizade street, the ferries on the Bosphorous, the shops (and the shoes!), the incredible night-time city views and just the grand expanse of it all.
J and I definitely plan to go back together. I can’t wait for him to see a whole other side of Turkey! In the meantime, here are a few pictures to tide all of us over until our next visit…
That’s all for now. More pictures to come in upcoming posts!