Istanbul Pt. 1- Its Not Constantinople


If you read my post titled Layover in London, you might have noticed that I mentioned that I was on my way to Istanbul, Turkey. This trip was my second time out of the US and also to Europe.  I was very excited to be going to Istanbul as it seemed like a city that was the old mixed with the new.

Being the naturally curious person that I am and also a smart traveller, I did lots of research before booking my ticket to Istanbul.  One of the biggest reasons for leading me there was the fact that even though around 80% of the population is Muslim, the city was said to have been able to live openly with other religions, be very cosmopolitan and welcome western culture.  However, with the recent political unrest that has happened there, one might disagree.  Whatever the case may be, my experience that was nothing but amazing.

The flight I took from London to Istanbul was on a Turkish Airlines Airbus A-340.  This was only the second non-American airline that I experienced.  The first was on a Swiss Airbus A-340, which blew me away.  And while I won’t take any credit away from the experience I had on Swiss, I must say that Turkish really impressed me.  The flight attendants were very friendly, and the the food, even in economy class, was very delicious.  The fresh bread basket alone won me over! Now being that this was my first trip toward the Middle East, I’ll admit that I was intrigued by the demographic of passengers on my flight.  Yes there was the typical mix of mostly European tourists and Turkish people, and I feel like my friend and I may have been on of the few American tourists on board.  However, I also noticed that there were people traveling beyond Turkey to Central Asia.  It was an awesome feeling to experience this as I felt like it was the closest I would get to these people’s countries and culture before I actually make it there.



After about a three hour flight, we finally landed in Istanbul.  Going through passport control was a breeze and getting a visa as a US citizen was even easier.  Basically what happens is you stand in a line and pay $20 USD to get a visa sticker in your passport.  We finally got out of the airport and waited for a taxi to take us to our apartment that I booked on Wimdu.  The adventure was about to begin, but I’ll save the details for my next post.

Until then, the gallery of photos from my trip to Turkey can be seen here.  Yakında görüşürüz!


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