A Trip to Istanbul, Turkey

Visiting Istanbul, Turkey was such a unique experience.

First of all, we were fortunate enough to stay with Paul’s friend who’s living and working in Istanbul; this afforded us an insider’s perspective into most places and activities, which gave this trip a great deal of depth.

A Trip to Istanbul, Turkey

Secondly, the Turkish language was a huge barrier for us gringos (foreigners). I’ve at least had a working knowledge of the language for the places I’ve visited, so asking for the basic necessities (like water or the restroom) was easy. Luckily for us, the Turkish people were gracious and understanding, and were happy to help us despite our limited language skills.

Thirdly, experiencing a Muslim country firsthand was very eye-opening. As I’m sure you can imagine, prayer calls are a major part of the culture and life for Muslims living in Istanbul. Several times throughout the day, the loudspeakers throughout the city would project these prayers sung by a man calling the devout to pray.

A Trip to Istanbul, Turkey

We visited the main tourist sights, like the Blue Mosque, the Grand Bazaar, and Hagia Sofia, and also went further afar with a boat journey up the Bosphorus (a straight that connects the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara) to visit an old, ruined castle.

A Trip to Istanbul, Turkey

Family Trip to Istanbul

A Trip to Istanbul, Turkey

A Trip to Istanbul, Turkey

A Trip to Istanbul, Turkey

A Trip to Istanbul, Turkey

A Trip to Istanbul, Turkey

A Trip to Istanbul, Turkey

A Trip to Istanbul, Turkey

A Trip to Istanbul, Turkey

A Trip to Istanbul, Turkey

Another noteworthy thing about this part of the world is how much closer we were to the countries ravaged by recent genocides, political and religious wars, and general poverty. Although we were tempted to travel further east to the other side of Turkey, and potentially visit Georgia or Armenia, we decided against it due to safety reasons.

All in all, this was a very memorable trip. Traveling with Katie and Paul was such a refreshing change, especially after all of the solo traveling that I’ve done. I feel really blessed that they were able to come to Europe and that we could travel to Turkey together.

If you’d like to see more Turkey pictures, Paul posted a Turkey album on Facebook. Enjoy!

Images credit: Jet Set With Mary

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