Monday, October 17, 2011

SHE IStanbul

A Turkish (male) friend once told me: There are two things you can't trust about Istanbul; the weather and the girls.  I told him that you can't trust the men anywhere in Turkey (although I am waiting to be proved wrong!), but my friend was right about one thing; you definately cannot trust the weather in Istanbul.

View from the top: Looking out on Istanbul at night.  My blackberry does not do it justice.

I hopped a plane with 8 friends from school and headed to Istanbul, the only city in the world that spans two continents.  Our reason for heading to Istanbul on this fine weekend in October?  The Istanbul Marathon.  We had all signed up to run the 8 kilometres that stretches across the bridge that seperates Europe and Asia, the Bosphoros.


I was excited to go to Istanbul for a reason other than the marathon.  While I was backpacking through Turkey, I met a guy from Istanbul who was doing some travelling of his own.  While hanging out on the beach and partying at this great night club in Oludeniz we discovered that we have alot in common and decided to keep in touch, and then carried on with our travels.  So a month later when I tell my friend that I'm coming to Istanbul, we were both psyched to hang out again.  Of course, I'd been to Istanbul before, as a tourist.  Being blonde haired and green eyed doesn't exactly help you blend into a sea of brown haired, brown eyed Istanbulites, so I was treated as a tourist.  I was shouted at by the vendors in the Grand Bazaar ('Hey lady, can I help you?') and the mariachi boys who stood outside the restaurants ('Hey lady, you are so beautiful').

Spice Bazaar

But this time it was different.  This time I got to see Istanbul from the perspective of a local.  The weather was not so great (I don't think I've ever been so cold in all my life), but we enjoyed hitting up night clubs (one was so rad, I swear Paris Hilton must have been there when she was in Istanbul a couple weeks ago), and enjoying long breakfasts at pretty cafes.  We wandered the streets (in the rain), trying to see as much as we could in the miserable weather, ducking in and out of cafes and flagging down taxis.

Tulum Peynir: Cheese that's fermented inside an animal skin.  This method is becoming rare because of strict European regulations.

I decided to skip out on the marathon in favour of staying in bed for a little longer and keeping my toes dry (it was raining the day of the marathon and you can guess how I feel about running 8k with soggy toes), but I don't regret my decision one little bit.

Kirbie was here!

I was not prepared for the weather at all, having packed only flats, jeans, t-shirts and a cute but not rainproof windbreaker, but I was also not prepared for how much I would love Istanbul.  Being a beach girl, I usually choose the blue waters of the Mediterranean over bustling cities, but I must admit, this weekend, I fell in L.O.V.E. with Istanbul.

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