I’m here!!! I made it to Istanbul! It’s been a long day of traveling, but everything went really well. Shout-out to Turkish Airlines for being legitimately the best international airline I’ve ever flown. I had heard their food is really good and I have to say I agree. Besides the bags taking almost an hour to arrive from the gate, getting through customs was really fast and easy too. The only hiccup I experienced is meeting the airport shuttle driver to take me to my hostel. When I arrived, the dude holding a sign with my name just shouted at another dude in Turkish for like 20 minutes while I sat there confused. Finally I was directed into a white van with a driver who kept made emphatic remarks about the Erdogan propaganda covering the streets, none of which I could understand. By now I’m just used to embracing this type of chaos.
The driver took me into the Old City, which is, as the name implies, super old. We drove right past the Theodosian walls–the ancient land walls that are what allowed the city to survive from antiquity into the 21st century–which made me emotional for a bit. All this stuff I had spent so long reading about, and now I was actually here to see it in person!
I got to my hostel a few hours ago and was welcomed with some apple tea and a pet kitty. I popped down the street to the Hagia Sofia as the sun set, but immediately regretted it because I finally realized how hungry and tired I was, and I didn’t get to soak it in like I should. For the same reason, I didn’t feel up to taking many pictures either. After trying and failing to find a balik ekmek (famous fish sandwiches) joint, I picked up a feta cheese breadstick thing and a gigantic Turkish chocolate chip cookie from a nearby bakery, both of which were delicious.
I’m so glad I got a private room, because it means I can take my pants off!!! Now I’m sitting here watching the Golden Knights play, because my body thinks it’s 1:00 in the afternoon even though it’s 11:00 PM here and my FitBit tells me I only got 1 hour and 12 minutes of sleep on the plane. 🙂
Tomorrow will be an actual, real, pictures/re-cap post and not just me complaining and talking about sports, I promise!