Blogs from Beşiktaş , Istanbul, Marmara, Turkey, Middle East


Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul » Beşiktaş July 15th 2014

Yeash, it has been awhile. So for starters, you all haven't missed much. Things have slowed down considerably lately due to high heat, a mid-term exam, and recently being more caught up in little league baseball than the average bear. However, the other day my roommate and I did go on a grand adventure to the Istanbul Modern Art Museum. This was one of the many times I am grateful for being a student in this country, there are so many discounts! Once we were inside we were greeted with a "plane" emerging from one wall, four glass walls puckered with bullet holes surrounding a staircase in the middle of the room leading to the bottom floor, and a mural of colors that covered a wall completely from floor to ceiling. Now personally I have never ... read more
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Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul » Beşiktaş July 5th 2014

This time on Darrah's adventures through Istanbul! So yesterday a group of my fellow summer term students and I decided to travel into the Old City so that they (practicing Muslims) could do Friday prayer at the Blue Mosque. To start the day however, I was awoken by the pitter patter of rain against my windows. Maybe it's just the mid-westerner in me but I say it was the best present I could have woken up to here in Turkey. The rain had stopped though when we left around noon as we took a bus, then the tram, to the Blue Mosque. Getting there was easy, getting inside was the same. After covering our heads and shoulders we entered onto the mosque grounds and made our way inside. I have to say that the Blue Mosque, ... read more
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Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul » Beşiktaş July 3rd 2014

Yes this post has an interesting title, yes this post will most likely make you laugh, and yes this post might be a bit long. Not sorry about it. Tuesday, July 1st, my roommate and I planned to go visit Topkapi Palace located on the Old Peninsula of Istanbul where the Blue Mosque and Grand Bazaar are located. We decided to take the bus because being in the middle of the day when we left, the ferries are not running and we were unsure where to get onto the tram. So we had one connecting bus in Besiktas (pronounced Besh-ik-tash) we thought that the bus, which was 28T to Topkapi, would take us directly to the palace. The bus weaved along the peninsula, driving next to mosques, tourist shops, and restaurants until it reached its final ... read more
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Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul » Beşiktaş June 29th 2014

I've been asked why I haven't blogged in four days. The answer is quite simple really, I haven't done anything. Being here for "study abroad" means I still have school, class, and homework; and so do my roommates. Yesterday marked the first day of Ramadan and so now for the next 27 days quite a few of my friends will be fasting. It's really interesting to learn about their culture and Turkish culture through this. Being able to ask questions in an environment where people are willing to answer without assuming the "other religion" is wrong is so refreshing and allows me to learn so much more. With my friends fasting now, our biggest outings have been late dinners once their closing prayer is done. So being a food person, I wanted to try an actual ... read more

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul » Beşiktaş June 24th 2014

Merhaba followers! So after my last blog I figured I needed to re-invigorate this blog with a new entry. So first things first, what is Istanbul really like (once you get past the 'We're not in Kansas anymore' feeling)? Well it has an extremely high rate of stray dogs, cats, and smokers. As in people start smoking at age 14. FOURTEEN. I swear everywhere we go I hear my lungs crying. But besides that the views really are spectacular. Being in a Mediterranean area, the rolling hills, cliff-side housing, and water front views really are breathtaking (when you can breathe). In fact, today I finally visited Bebek which is located right off the Bosporus Strait which is basically in our backyard! The Bosporus connects the Black Sea to the Sea of Marmara. Bebek is home to ... read more


Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul » Beşiktaş May 3rd 2014

Today we had breakfast in Europe....Lunch in Asia....and Dinner back in Europe! :-))). We took a bus down to Besiktas And caught the ferry across the Bosphorus to the Asian side of Istanbul. It was a glorious sunny day with big white fluffy clouds in the sky....the views back to the shore along the coast were amazing. The Dolmabalce Palace, the Galata Tower, Topkai Palace, Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque ....all seen from a new prospective. We also passed the Leander's or Maiden's Tower ( Turkish Name ) an 18th century tower which has served as a lighthouse, a custom's control point and a maritime toll gate. Our docking point was Kadikoy which is 7th century and located near the Scutarion Palace which was the starting point of Byzantine trade Routes through Asia. We wandered ... read more
Dolmabalce Palace
Istanbul  skyline
Hagia Sophia

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul » Beşiktaş October 24th 2012

Merhaba! Today was definitely a good day - we got to do a lot of different things. To start off, I will remind you that tomorrow is the Muslim Festival of Sacrifice which is a holiday that lasts four days. Even though it is a religious holiday, it affects some national things as well (banks are closed, the bazaars are closed). So, we had a tour planned to see a Jewish synagogue tomorrow and the guy that arranged the tour for us weeks ago called us today and said that they cannot do it because of the Muslim holiday. (Last time I checked, Islam and Judiasm are not the same thing - but like I said, this holiday does affect certain national things - probably similar to Christmas in the US.) Since we are primarily a ... read more
Top of the Galata Tower
Dolmabahce Palace

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul » Beşiktaş May 3rd 2012

First day of Travel: Arrived ay YVR at 5:30, first one out of our group to arrive. Definitely feeling excited. The new backpack, osprey farpoint 65L, works like a dream. I was able to pack everything I needed with room to spare. The detachable day back is proving to be critical feature. The rest of the group arrived shortly after myself and we proceed with the essential steps of international air travel: check bags, get through security, drink beer. The first flight was about 9 hours into London…poor ventilation and parenting skills lead to a hot, humid and child-screeching filled flight. The 5 hour Layover in London consisted of sitting around and playing pokemon. It was here where I found an interesting display of premium scotches (with my personal favorite weighing in at 20,000€.) The final ... read more

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul » Beşiktaş April 30th 2012

Today was a long walk day. I'd planned to get to the Rumeli Fortress on the west coast of the Bosphorus. Typically, I had intended to walk there and find some public transport back. From Sultanahmet I followed a hugely circuitous route down the hill via the Grand Bazaar (open today) and beyond that all the little shops that sell belt buckles, beads, mannequins, taps, cleaning equipment and garlic-crushers. From there it was a gravity-filled walk to the waterfront of the Golden Horn and a noisy walk across the Ataturk Bridge with all the buses and trucks. In a misguided attempt to avoid the backstreets, I followed the main roads up and down the hills (and there are many many hills which give an inclinometer a good workout) with a side trip along the boulevard to ... read more

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul » Beşiktaş January 14th 2012

Today it's snowing in Istanbul. The cars are driving the slowest I've ever seen them move and everyone everywhere has a knit hat. It's also my last day. I'm not too sure what to say about my last day. I'm disappointed that studying abroad didn't work out for next semester, and my plan to travel around Europe also didn't pan out. Basically, my plans for this year have hardly been met. But I suppose that when making plans a year in advance these things happen... I guess I'll just talk about what I'll be missing about Istanbul and what I'm excited to see at home (People aside for both parts) I want to come home to see.... -A real park! Istanbul is a city of sprawl. As time moves on people moving into Istanbul just tack ... read more

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