Sunday, May 20, 2012

Istanbul...not Constantinople

I LOVE TURKEY!!! Who ever dubbed Turkey the "hidden gem of Europe" nailed it right on the head!! It has the best of all worlds (or more like the best of Europe and Asia) it's dripping with history - tons of Hellenistic ruins and churches/mosques dating back to the 3rd and 4th centuries, AMAZING landscape lots and lots of trees and beautiful beaches along the Aegean Sea. I just couldn't get enough! I will probably post about it in segments but here are some pics for now:

The Suleymaniye Mosque

The Grand Bazaar (dating back to 1461)

In the Bazaar they were having a big celebration for the Turkish Futbol team Super Lig. They were singing and chanting up and down the allies. I joined in for a little bit. The man next to me tried to teach me the song they were singing.... "something something manee habba!"

Our private boat ride around the European and Asian sides of Istanbul

My lovely room mate for the week Camilla!! Originally from Columbia, this Latina fire ball has confidence and sass galore! Construction management major at BYU-I and recently has learned how to clean a bathroom for the first time in her life (you know how third world countries are - just pamper and spoil their children!)

The Topkapi Palace where Sultans lived for 400 years till 1800 something:

Istanbul is a beautiful city! I could spend the whole 4 months here and still be astounded by its beauty!

(In the middle is the Basillica Cistern)

We visited a famous Baklava parlor (instead of frozen yogurt hang outs they have baklava hang outs...) and I had my first taste. Didn't really know what to expect becuase I had never really seen baklava before  -- but let me tell you... HEAVEN in my mouth!!

...and this was all just on the first day!!

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