When traveling to Istanbul, prepare yourself for some steep uphill walking. It isn’t uncommon during rain storms for the hills that the city sits on to turn into a white water rafting park. You can find many tourists huffing it up from the Bosphorus. Then you will find old Turkish men, with their hands interlocked. It seems to be the way old men walk when living in southern Europe. Very controlled and consistent.
The Turkish people have a way about them that really shines. There is a gruffness to how they carry themselves, but they are also extremely welcoming and love to feed guests. I spent ten days in Istanbul and loved everything about it. The cats wondering the streets like lions, the cabbies and their ability to fit their whip’s down the tightest of streets, the style that the youth exude, the food that fills and thrills, and the smells and sounds that bring the chaos to a perfect order.
Take a walk down to the water and grab yourself a seat along the Bosphorus where you can smoke hookah, enjoy the view of the Asian side of Istanbul (if you are on the Europe side that is), and don’t forget turkish ice cream…if you forget, shame on you. That salty air mixes well with the essence of Istanbul.
At night I would suggest heading down Istiklal street, the main drag of the city. It’s where all the big shops are and tons of places to eat, but the best part about this area, is at night, when you head down the tight alley ways off the Istiklal you come across a vibrant party scene. The alley’s are lined with bars with live music and people dancing and drinks flowing and old men with makeshift push carts selling watermelon and various other fruits.
Go to Istanbul, feel the salt air of the Bosphorus, dance with a beautiful woman, and find love in a city with more than enough to give.