For some reason, I didn’t expect that flying out to Istanbul would be just as tiring as going to Thailand. I guess I was so excited that I forgot that this trip still involves crossing international date line. I also did not expect that Delta airline would be much more inferior to any Asian airlines I have flown before. However, it got us here.

We probably got to the hotel around 5 or 6 pm. I am not really sure. The travel day is always a blur. We took a taxi from Atatürk airport. I can see why some people would say that they were afraid of the way taxi drivers drive in Istanbul. I will confirm that they do drive fast. Ours passed other cars left and right. He also did not step on the brake when the light is red until he is within 10 feet of the car in front of him. However, I grew up in Thailand and had to drive in Bangkok every time I went home, this is not a surprise.

Our hotel is in Karaköy neighborhood in the Beyoğlu district of Istanbul. It is very close to the coast. We went walking after we settled in to our hotel. We saw the locals fishing off the seawall and even off of Galata bridge. We tried some green plums from a street vender. How we end up trying new things always goes something like:

Me: “Oooh, what are those?”
Drew: “I don’t know. Wanna get some?”
Me: “Sure!”

They are called erik. I didn’t know what they were after eating them until we got back to the hotel and I googled for it. Erik in Turkish translates to plum. These plums look like olives and taste like green apple but much more tart. They are great to snack on while walking. They were only 1 TL (1.75TL = $1) for, I think, 100 grams. We also got some chestnuts from one of the street vender. They were 3.5 TL for 100 grams. We walked across the bridge and got to the old town side and somehow ended up in Egyptian bazaar (spice market). We bought some dried fruit. The vender let us try some “Turkish Viagra”. They tasted like fruit roll-up with pistachios. And, they were delicious!

“Time flies when you’re having fun” is really true. Here we are at the end of day 2. We probably walked about 7-8 miles today. We went wondering around Cihanger and Çukurcuma. We walked all the way to Taksim square, then came back down on Istiklal street to Galata tower. We popped into shops along the way here and there and had dinner at a restaurant somewhere in Pera, another neighborhood in Beyoğlu. We are beat. But We are having a blast!


Antique shops

Spice Market

Beginning of Istiklal Street

Somewhere by Galata Tower

Kalic Ali Pasa Mosque