Kevin has never stayed at a hostel before and wanted to give him the fun experience. Booked two nights at a hostel and two nights at a high end hotel. I do miss the communal feeling but I also enjoy the taste of nice hotel. Of course the two key factors to picking a hostel is cleanliness and location. Wouldn’t you agree? The hostel should be spotless especially the bathrooms and the location should be within walking distance to all the sites! Cheers Hostel had both – check! They provided free breakfast but there really wasn’t much because it was just olives, tomatoes, cucumbers, pepper, eggs, and yogurt plus we never made it in time for the food because we woke up too late.
The most popular location to stay is in old town aka Sultanahmet. C’mon when I first saw this word, I was like how on earth do I pronounce this? After being here for so many hours, I realized that it’s actually “Sultan Ahmet.” what a total blonde moment.
We arrived in Istanbul thinking theres much to do but we pretty much hit up all the touristy sites in a matter of a day or so. The sites are truly not to be missed because it offers many historical and cultural aspects. From the hostel, we could see the Blue Mosque which is pretty symbolic to Istanbul and the reason that it’s named the Blue Mosque is because the tiles inside are blue. The Turkish flag is red but everything else in Turkey is blue (ie, the evil eye). After visiting so many mosques, I have come to a realization that many mosques are similar in nature. Before our the next destination, we ventured to the next sites, my coworker recommended a Turkish meatball shop which is out of this world!! It’s so friggin delicious and wish I could bring some home for everyone to try. The meat seriously melts in your mouth because it’s so tender. It’s my favorite meal so far.
After wandering around for a bit, the bospherous cruise seemed to be the best option because it would be relaxing to see Istanbul through another means of transportation. Turkey is divided between Europe and Asia. If you ask the Turks wheres Turkey, they will tell you it’s in Europe but if you ask Europeans where’s Turkey, they will say it’s in Asia. Talk about having an identity crisis! Of course I passed out on the cruise so I missed a good chunk of it.
By the time we reached the hostel after the cruise, it was dinner time. I prefer asking a locals what they enjoy eating because often tour groups and guide books suggest restaurants that are popular among tourists. Then I proceeded to ask the guy at the front desk and he suggested one restaurant by the bospherous river with a view. Ok, took his recommendation and asked how to get there and then he said how did you get on the cruise? We walked but we boarded from a different location. He was pissed because we didn’t get on the cruise from where he told us to because he ran out of time talking to me earlier but whatever. He was getting a bit fresh with me because he went on about saying what’s the point of making a recommendation if people don’t listen to what he’s saying. Last time I checked, he wasn’t the boss of me. I can take your suggestion but it’ll also help if he recommend more than ONE spot. We ended up walking there and the food was extremely fresh with a nice view.
After dinner, hookah was the best option so we found a cafe and chatted there. It was a nice way to end the night.