Istanbul was the first city on our itinerary. After a long 10-hour flight, we were happy to stretch out legs a bit while waiting for luggage. It took a while to get into the city center, but finally we made it to our neighborhood and got settled in our apartment. For dinner – Turkish pizza (pide and lahmacun, yum yum), lentil soup, chicken shish. After dinner, we sat beneath the Galata Tower sipping on drinks and talking with a young man named Alp – it was a good lesson on multiculturalism for everyone.
The rain tried to keep us down, but we were brave and decided to spend a day riding a ferryboat up the Bosphorus. We didn’t climb the mountain at the edge where the Black Sea and Bosphorus meet, instead choosing to sit in a fish restaurant and drink endless tea until it was time to board the ferry again. One of the crew/guys who sells tea started chatting with me, testing my Turkish skills and offering a marriage proposal (in jest).
I had a night to myself – before meeting up with a friend for tea, I visited the Pera Museum, where I walked through a Picasso exhibit and Norwegian glass art. After the museum closed up, I met up with friends on Istkilal Caddesi. While walking quickly up and down the busy street, it was a bit jarring to cross paths with crowds of riot police and to find myself stuck in a crowd of hundreds of women blowing whistles and waving flags. ***Just to clarify, grandma, these protests were not happening in Alanya, they were not dangerous (this day, at least), and I was 100% fine and safe.*** A chicken wrap finished up the evening, and we set out for Cappadocia the next morning.