Saturday, June 1, 2013

Istanbul (Not Constantinople)

My last weekend trip of my semester abroad was to Istanbul, Turkey. Although I don't think it's the traditional European destination, it was one of the main places I wanted to visit during my semester abroad. Apparently, the rest of the Geneva crew wanted to see it too because I went with a group of five other GSGers and two other groups had already gone for spring break. By the end of the semester, all of but one of us made a little trip to good ol' Constantinople.

Istanbul was so different from all the places I had been during the rest of the semester. The first two days reminded me of my summer in Jerusalem actually. It was pretty reminiscent of that summer when I went to the Grand Bazaar, the merchants were extremely aggressive, just like they were in the Old City of Jerusalem. Although, I didn't feel quite as unsafe as I occasionally did in the Old City. But I just think that's because it was constantly jam-packed, while the Old City had some empty corridors. Also, we had a guy this time. Sadly, that does make a difference sometimes.
Generally, my time in Istanbul was very enjoyable. I finally got to see the Hagia Sofia, which I had heard about since Western Civ at UHS.

We saw the beautiful mosaics of the Blue Mosque and got some pretty cute photos with our headscarves.
Ventured over to the largest mosque in Istanbul....

Wandered through the Grand Bazaar and bought plenty of presents for the family back home....
Ventured over to Asia for a quick stroll...
Watched some dervishes whirl...
Ate some kebabs...and then some more kebabs

Out of everything, I think one of the coolest experiences from our time in Istanbul was sleeping on the roof of our hostel. Our hostel was located in the old area of Istanbul, right by the Hagia Sofia and the Blue Mosque. So close in fact, that you could see the Hagia Sofia from the roof. It was so cool to wake up to the 5am call to prayer and then later watch the sunrise behind the Hagia Sofia.


  1. Awww I've always wanted to do a girl trip~ Looks like so much fun~