I have been wanting to go to Istanbul for awhile, but as a single female I was conscious of government warnings about travel there. Let me address that first. Yes there is a need to be cautious and aware of your surroundings at all times. That’s the same in any city anywhere in the world. Yes terrorists make threats and have been more active there than in some other cities but there is security at key places. I will say that I felt safe there, in fact for a city of approx 16Million it was surprising. The taxi drivers, well actually most drivers there are crazy and its like a wild rollercoaster but its fun.
My trip to Istanbul was for work. But I still got to see some sights and enjoy some great food. The 2 most important things that I wanted to see was Hagia Sophia and the Grand Bazaar. Both were amazing and did not disappoint. Hagia Sophia was built nearly 1500 years ago, that alone is amazing, it was originally built for Orthodox Christian religion and then late it served as a Mosque. You can feel the history and see it in the worn marble steps, the paintings faded with time, the massive doors and the incredible architecture. With all the visitors inside I still felt a sense of peace. Everyone treated it with respect. I love history so for me in many ways going to a place like this feels like I am a part of history.
The Grand Bazaar is wonderful, with lots of little shops selling all sorts of goods, from clothing and bags, to spices, carpets, lights, luggage, food and everything else you can think of. I managed to get some local spices and a Turkish lamp that I wanted. I nearly bought a rug, and now that I am back I do wish I had. But that’s a good excuse to visit again.
On our last night there I organised a team dinner at Roof Mezze 360 the views across the Bosphorus strait are fantastic, and with the setting sun it was perfect. The service and food were excellent.
#worktravels; #istanbul; #over50; #traveler; #zerotohero
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