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Published: October 31st 2006
Goodwill at the end of the Ramadan
I am LOVING Istanbul! This is a fantastic city with a great vibe. I've been here for 6 days and feel I've only scratched the surface. People have been really friendly, and the shop owners don't hassle you at all.
The day I arrived was in the middle of a 3-day holiday to celebrate the end of Ramazan (fasting period). Every one of the 12+ million people that live here were out and about. Madness and mayhem everywhere.
Cuisine is yummy too. Loving the turkish delight, baklava, kebabs and apple tea. Nothing like going through the Spice Bazaar, and local markets or shops and filling up on taste testers.
Have spent my days doing the usual touristy sites. Then been checking out the Taksim nightlife. Fabbo little bars and clubs on every floor of most buildings in the back streets.
Wandered around the Asian side where little to no English is spoken. One becomes really accomplished at pointing at stuff and charades. All good fun.
Saved the best till last and went to a Turkish hammam (built in 1584) to get scrubbed and massaged. Skin was smooth as silk and felt so mellow afterwards.
Hordes of people coming to the Blue Mosque to pray after the end of Ramazan. Aya Sofya in the background.
not a fan of cities but Istanbul is special, and I would definitely like to come back and explore it some more.
Extremely excited as I start my 4-week overland truck trip (Dragoman) through the rest of Turkey and into the Middle East tomorrow.
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