1o days in turkey • d(r)iving into a new world

driving into the city of istanbul literally felt like entering a whole new world. we passed huge buildings & skyscrapers one hour before we would even reach the center of the city. with more than 15 million inhabitants istanbul counts as one of the biggest cities oin the world & that was exactly how it looked like in the beginning. however, when we reached the old town where we would stay for 5 days everything seemed different again: suddenly we were surounded by small hilly streets, mosques & markets. no skyscarpers anymore as if we had seen another city before but i guess that’s the amazing thing when it comes to istanbul: it is extremely diverse & colorful also loud & chaotic & then again so astoundingly beautiful & impressive. summing up our istanbul experience in just a few words would be totally inpossible but i’ll try to give you just a little grasp of what world we were facing on our first stop in turkey. istanbul streets are always busy .. filled with people with voices & spices with dust & sun with so much color & shapes .. it was hard to keep track on what you’d just seen one second ago. we made our way through the `grand bazaar´ & couldn’t stop marvelling around: there you can get literally everything you could ever think of but most importantly amazing turkish cay & coffee & sweet turkish delight which is a must try when in istanbul btw !! of course we also had to visit the famous `hagia sophia´ the biggest mosque in turkey & the `süleymaniye camii´ a specificly beautiful mosque in istanbul which i also wrote my seminar paper in history of arts about: so obviously i had to go & finally see it in real & i wasn’t disappointed at all !! furthermore, we went to see the impressive `topkapi palace´ which was an absolute highlight on our little sightseeing tour through the city. what we really enjoyed as well & what a lot of people in turkey actually do is chilling outside smoking shisha & drinking turkish tea: it was the perfect midday rest when it was too hot running around & a good opportunity to just enjoy watch the people & soak up all the istanbul vibes & smells & noises. can you tell we did enjoy this haha ?! well in the end we even bought a shisha in the `grand bazaar´ so yes we did. on our last day in istanbul we crossed the bridge to `the golden horn´ to visit one of the three riversides of istanbul from where we also have a very nice view over the asian side of istanbul which is just a quick boat trip away !! we went to the `museum of modern art´ gazed at the `galata tower´ & had some very good coffee at the `books & coffee shop istanbul´. in the evening we went to our very favorite restaurant during our stay for the third time: it’s called `my terrace cafe restaurant´ & the view from their cozy rooftop terrace was just beyond beautiful: you could see the whole harbour a mosque right in front of you & most importantly: the sunset. the owners were super nice always warmly welcomed us & cooked some delicious tradtional turkish meals for us & it was just heaven !! so if you happen to come to istanbul at some point check out this spot if only for a sunset drink: the ambience there is magical. from istanbul we moved on towards the south to izmir which is quite a vibrant student city at the western coast of turkey. we spent three nights there & just enjoyed the flow & vibe of the city which again was so different from istanbul. it all felt a little easier there as it was not as chaotic & sometimes even a little stressful as in the big city. we read played games strolled around spotted street art & just eased down a little bit before we would again move on & head towards the north. one last stop in turkey for us was edirne where i could visit the `selimiye mosque´ which again i studied at uni & therefore was extra grateful for being able to see it in real: turkish mosques are pure art let me say that. all those shapes forms & colors are so different from western art & architecture & i deeply enjoyed opening up my understanding of what beauty & aesthetics mean & what they can actually look like !!