31 408km // ISTANBUL // TURKEY

1440x550_Istanbul

31 408km // ISTANBUL // TURKEY

When you hear from friends back home, and they say they’re going to be nearby, of course you make a plan to drop everything and head off to meet them! Such was the case with our trip to Istanbul, where we managed to see some of our favourite people, who had all planned to visit Turkey for a sailing-slash-exploration trip. Originally, we didn’t realise we’d be stuffing our faces with honey-pistachio-cranberry-pomegranate-Turkish-delight amazingness so soon into our trip, but wow, we’re sure glad we did!

Our eventful few days began with a tour of Istiklal Avenue in Taksim, the busiest street in the new part of town, surrounded by buildings highly influenced by the Ottoman era. Besides the almost-too-large crowd of 3 million people per day (on weekends), and the impressive Galata tower which you can reach easily from the street, you’re taken aback by the street performers and vendors, each luring you in with sweet sounds, magic tricks, and delicacies like Turkish ice-cream, roasted chestnuts and grilled mielies (that’s sweet corn cobs for the non-South-Africans).

Our stroll through the old town on day two, had us gazing at the world-famous Sultan Ahmet mosque, and admiring the maze-like Grand Bazar, holding over 3000 shops filled with patterned crockery, spice piles larger than small children, and an array of traditional ornaments. We ended the busyness with a cruise along the Bosphorus Strait, which boasted eye-popping views of the Golden Horn Metro Bridge, ancient palaces from the Ottoman dynasty, two continents close enough for one panoramic photo, and (unfortunately) a couple who took more selfies in the space of an hour than any pair of humans should ever, ever do.

Although we were lucky enough to explore the old and new parts of town, we felt most alive when we caught a ferry to the Asian side of Istanbul (where most of the locals live), to enjoy a real taste of local Turkish life. We couldn’t help but smile constantly with the city’s hypnotic energy, from the melodic calls for prayer waking us at 5am, to the beating drums of the entrepreneurial musicians accompanying us for the long walks home at 1am. The colors, the smells, and the overwhelming beauty of the architecture, made us incredibly sad to leave this magical town.

Thank you Istanbul…or as we have now learnt: Teşekkür ederim İstanbul.

CC

Istanbul Turkey | How far From Home

Istanbul Turkey | How far From Home

Istanbul Turkey | How far From Home

Istanbul Turkey | How far From Home

Istanbul Turkey | How far From Home

Istanbul Turkey | How far From Home

Istanbul Turkey | How far From Home

Istanbul Turkey | How far From Home

Istanbul Turkey | How far From Home

Istanbul Turkey | How far From Home

Istanbul Turkey | How far From Home

Istanbul Turkey | How far From Home

Istanbul Turkey | How far From Home

Istanbul Turkey | How far From Home

Istanbul Turkey | How far From Home

Istanbul Turkey | How far From Home

Istanbul Turkey | How far From Home

Istanbul Turkey | How far From Home

Istanbul Turkey | How far From Home

Istanbul Turkey | How far From Home

Istanbul Turkey | How far From Home

Istanbul Turkey | How far From Home

Istanbul Turkey | How far From Home

Istanbul Turkey | How far From Home

Istanbul Turkey | How far From Home

Istanbul Turkey | How far From Home

Istanbul Turkey | How far From Home

Istanbul Turkey | How far From Home

Istanbul Turkey | How far From Home

Istanbul Turkey | How far From Home

Istanbul Turkey | How far From Home

Istanbul Turkey | How far From Home

Istanbul Turkey | How far From Home

Istanbul Turkey | How far From Home

Istanbul Turkey | How far From Home

Istanbul Turkey | How far From Home

Istanbul Turkey | How far From Home

Istanbul Turkey | How far From Home

Istanbul Turkey | How far From Home

 

For more shots from our travels, check out #HFFH_travels on Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.

11 Comments
  • Salie Adams
    Posted at 10:54h, 06 October Reply

    Good morning, I’m following your experience with a great deal of interest. I’ve done something similar . In 2005 ,I did a road trip from Cape Town to Turkey. My only problem was visas in the middle east countries. How did you obtain your visas for this trip?Wish you all the luck and happiness. I think there is a musical and lights show at the Blue Mosque on a Thursday night. Keep it up.Salie.NB: Staying in Nigeria at the moment.

    • howfarfromhome
      Posted at 15:39h, 06 October

      Hey Salie! Our visa application for Turkey was actually so simple – we just followed the prompts at evisa.gov.tr and printed the PDF before departure. Sorry to hear you didn’t have similar luck! Hope the rest is amazing 🙂

  • Esra
    Posted at 14:46h, 06 October Reply

    Hi there! I am so happy you are in town. I’ve been following you for a while and I wondered whether you would step by Istanbul. You are doing a great great job guys…If you wish to drink a coffee (Turkish of course! :-)), just let me know, my office is nearly on Taksim square. If you need anything or help, it will be my pleasure to assist you. Take care. Esra (alterego.esra@gmail.com) PS: Just a shame that the weather is so poor…

    • howfarfromhome
      Posted at 15:37h, 06 October

      Thanks so much Esra! Such a shame that we’ve already left! But if we make it back, we’ll definitely give you a shout ????

    • Esra Karaosmanoglu
      Posted at 11:39h, 16 October

      Excellent!

      Good luck to both…

      By the way I really like your new website 🙂

      Take care

    • howfarfromhomeblog@gmail.com
      Posted at 13:00h, 16 October

      Thanks so much!

  • knitsbywhit
    Posted at 16:52h, 06 October Reply

    Beautiful photos. Istanbul is on my list of places to visit. Hopefully, I get there soon!

  • Carli
    Posted at 17:53h, 06 October Reply

    Wow!! You guys are living the dream, take care, stay safe and healthy, looking forward to more stories and pics!

  • anelems
    Posted at 08:38h, 07 October Reply

    Ah! Merhaba 🙂 I was in Istanbul in June this year. What a lovely vibe. I also stayed with locals in Kadikoy (Sahrayacedid Cami); I had a phenomenal time. I have some photos on my blog if you ever wish to have a look. I am definitely returning. Take care, x

    • howfarfromhome
      Posted at 10:46h, 07 October

      Thanks so much! We certainly will 🙂

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