Istanbul!: First Impressions

Blue Mosque, Istanbul
Was there every a building more beautiful??

We left Rome mighty, mighty early to get our quick flight to Istanbul (two-and-a-half hours-ish to get to an entirely different world), and while I had been excited about Lisbon, and excited about returning to Rome, Istanbul was really going to be the star of this trip and I was excited, nervous, excited, and tired. When we touched down and I began hearing and seeing Turkish and we began the mystifying process of getting tokens to use on public transit (we were unsuccessful the whole visit on getting an Istanbulkart–the reusable card for public transit), I became humbled and overwhelmed and awed and amazed. Those feelings are why I travel and why I will continue to travel until the end of my days

As we made our way on the tram through the sprawl of the city (I hadn’t realized at the time, but Istanbul’s population is around 14.5 million, quite big), I thought to myself:


Followed quickly thereafter by:

My god the world is astonishing. 


Man this public transit is a MILLION times better than Rome’s…why is Rome’s public transit such shit?!?

And when the first minarets came into view:

Now this is an adventure!

More on Istanbul to come…


10 thoughts on “Istanbul!: First Impressions

  1. I was there only six weeks ago with my family. While we had a wonderful experience and it has whet our appetite for Turkey we had a lot of troubling experiences in taxis. The most distirbing was on Buyukada, with a Phaeton driver ( not a taxi but a horse and carriage). It helps to speak the language or be with someone who does. We learnt to use public transport quickly -trains, trams, ferry- and it was great but we only used it during the day.

    1. I actually didn’t take a taxi my entire visit, so that’s good to know, thanks. I found the other public transit to be clean, reliable, and reasonable (unlike in Rome where I’ve lived). I can’t wait to return to Turkey as well, I’m dreaming of the kofte right now! Thanks for reading!

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