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Published: April 28th 2010
Bosphorus Bridge in Istanbul
the bridge connects Europe (left) and Asia (right).
Our turkish experience started with a dodgy, bumpy, noisy propeller all the way from Dubai to Istanbul.
The trip consisted of 2 groups. 12 South African guys on a world cup mission and about 8 people from my group. The Irish & Scots. For me it was double trouble!
I got seated in the middle of my two girl friend from Scotland and when the seat belt sign was turned off, the drinking session started. Seems to me that the girls are also on a mission.
In an act to save the air hostess from coming back again and again to bring us wine after another in a cup, the girls decided to order 3 cups of white wine each, the cycle went on for hours! I was hammered, suffering massive hangover and lack of sleep by the time the plane landed in Istanbul.
Getting a cheap package deal in a new country is not knowing what to expect upon arrival or not bothering what it consisted as long as its cheap.
For alcohol lovers like us, we've forgotten what the package was in store, so we went with the flow, on board a ship. They call it
The cruise by the way isn't at all bad as we saw a lot of nice looking mosque along the way, listened to tales of Istanbul from people on board. Also seeing the Bosphorus bridge that separates east and west country was really interesting.
After around 2 hours in the cruise we were all taken in to a leather factory. We walked around stumbling for what seems like ages, then trying out leather jackets and pretending to be a cowboy.
I could also remember watching a few models doing catwalk. Guess what they were wearing? Leathers!!! Did you not think this could be a tourist trap and we were the suckers who fell for it!
After the leather factory, still suffering massive hangover and no sleep, we were escorted to our hotel, only to find that our rooms will only be ready after lunch time.
So we waited, sunk in to the lobby sofas while the others argued and demanded their rights to their dragon's lair! boys!!
When we finally got in to our room much earlier than anticipated, an hour meeting was set. Frankly speaking I only got half an hour as I
found out I've forgotten combination to my suitcase!
Spend ages jumping on my case and kicking it! Man....... I wanted to throw it out of the window!, but a very nice Turkish guy, down the lobby spared me from my desperation.
When I came back half hour later, he told me my suitcase combination. It was quite impressive which made me wonder as well.
Our nights in Istanbul was spent mainly in the same Irish bar. We also lost 2 heavily drunk guys the first day but they miraculously found us on their discovery tour along the lines of bars after another.
All I can remember in this pub crawl, singing U2 songs. I swore to have memorize all their lyrics.
The manager of the Irish bar even got a concert video of U2 played on the big projector. I think we sang "Sunday, bloody sunday" and jumped and screamed to "It's a beautiful day" songs a dozen times.
After this I promised myself not to listen to another U2 songs.
I think the street bars that we went to is the Tunel Square on Istiklal Avenue where the trams are located. The tram is superb, a
I would recommend dinning in the "French Street" with tented buildings, street musicians, cafés, bars and art centers. Food is exquisite!
The Istanbul sight seeing are for their architectural buildings and mosque. Some of the places worth visiting are Topkapi Palace, Blue Mosque, St. Sophia, Hippodrome, Grand Bazaar.
Check out the Spice Market as well.
A warning for those venturing in to Istanbul, if you happen to see a street fight!, try not to get involved! From our experience it turns out to be bloody! Not to be alarmed, they're only from punches on the face!
Also the tourist bus is pretty weird and funny! A must try, if you have time to kill then you'll know that I mean!
I am proud to say we did enjoyed this trip, even with all the flaws in it and us all together!
My hands are on high salute for the scotman and the irishman, Brendan and Gordon, for finding us in their most drunken state.
Landing for transit in Karachi airport drunk was the last highlight of this trip!
One thing I am pretty certain and learn from this trip, that anything that involves theScots,
rest assure the Irish will back their brothers in times of need!
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