I’m not a romantic person. I wouldn’t be caught dead reading a Mills and Boons like most of my peers read as teenagers. I remember being in boarding and watching how girls discussed a particular Mills and Boons novel. The book probably torn and stained with oil, the cover and first page off because it has been passed from hand to hand. You didn’t need the cover anyway, you probably know what it looked like. A nice looking hunk, well toned up, holding up to a vulnerable lady, promising  his undying love and ish like that. Now don’t get it wrong, I AM IN LOVE! and it is a good thing but I’m not just the type to ooze it out or drool all over it. I’ll pass on that!

Dolmabahçe Palace

Me with Dolmabahçe Palace behind the scene

What a contradiction because this blog post is about love. A love of I’m still dreaming as I type this. If cities were flings, Istanbul will surely be on the list of “the best I ever had”. I loved this city so so much, I wished I had spent more time there. There is something about this city that makes you vulnerable and for me, it is the following in no particular order:

Free Coffee

I lost count of the cups of coffee I had in this city. Most I got thanks to the many random strangers (which were all men by the way) I met while shopping, site seeing and even in restaurants. Turkish coffee is thicker than any coffee I’ve ever taken and as a Coffee lover myself, I really liked it. I kept being asked if I wanted it with sugar or not and was a bit confused at first until I realised that they have to add the sugar while preparing the coffee so take note if you find yourself in Istanbul and want to have some coffee which I highly recommend you do.

Turkish Coffee...always served with water. The water is to be used for washing the mouth first before tasting the coffee.

Turkish Coffee

The Blue Mosque

To be honest, I never really knew much about the blue mosque till a few months before I decided to visit Istanbul but once I laid my eyes on it I was hooked! Maybe I’m just biased because blue is my favourite colour but in all honest this mosque is grand and beautiful. There was a controversy with the Mosque when Sultan Ahmed revealed it will have six minarets but he still went ahead with his plan regardless. I’m happy he didn’t change his mind because the minarets definitely added to its beauty.

The Blue Mosque is still active so I visited just after the 4pm prayer. Women visiting are required to cover their hair

Inside The Blue Mosque

Turkish Delight

This is all doze of awesomeness in one bite. Imagine having all your favorite elements in one snack. Honey, Fruits, Nuts…Say what?!! It had me singing like a child each time I took a bite. Just to clarify, this can be found all over Turkey but since I only visited Istanbul, I’d say it was one of the reasons why I fell in love with the city.

Why I Loved Istanbul: Turkish delight

Turkish delight

NightLife

Istanbul’s nightlife is freaking cool!!! For a city where I had issues with communicating because I didn’t understand the language the earliest time I got back to my hotel was 8pm. Yep! I couldn’t get enough of exploring this city even at night. I particularly enjoyed hanging out at Galata bridge which is filled with restaurants and cafes. Because I was exploring alone, I made a conscious effort to explore areas where there were lots of people. There are so many other places to have a pleasurable time at night like Taksim square, Nevizade street and Ortaköy where I hung out with now German friend Ferdinand.

Why I Loved Istanbul: Galata Bridge

Galata Bridge

Old Charm

I never got enough of Istanbul’s old charm. I mean what do you expect from a city that was the seat of four great empires in the past? From hanging out in Sultanahmet square to wandering through the narrow streets of Beşiktaş, Every corner I turned in Istanbul had a piece of history which I totally adored.

Old city walls somewhere on the Asian side

Old city walls somewhere on the Asian side

The Bosphorus Strait

I enjoyed going on a tour of the Bosphorus strait. The scene on both sides of the strait was amazing and it gave me a glimpse of the city. Since it was a hop-off/hop on tour, I had the pleasure of getting off at different points on the strait. Most of its shore are lined with homes and other significant buildings like the Dolmabahçe Palace.

Man made Island on the Bosporus strait

Bosphorus strait

These are some of the things I loved about Istanbul and I can’t wait to go back and explore it more and the rest of Turkey.

Have you ever been to Istanbul? What did you love about it?


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Fola's Waka

Fola’s Waka is a travel blog aimed at sharing travel experiences and tips to enlighten people about the world about their chosen destination places.