Istanbul, July 2011.

497.jpgI was looking at my little travel notebook and old photos and realised that I’ve a few posts to publish, so here I go again. We visited Istanbul in the summer of 2011. It was incredibly a warm year, we felt the temperature was about forty degrees or more during the day. As predicted, it was a popular city with tourists, so we had to stay in long queues to enter museums, palaces and mosques. I felt Istanbul was crowded, traffic was chaotic, and the drivers were reckless. Child labour and poverty was quite visible, and it was a disturbing, sad sight. Children as young as nine or ten-year-olds on the streets of Istanbul were actively involved in hard labour, begging and selling items like water bottles, flowers, etc. On a positive note, we found that Turkish people are quite friendly, helpful. Almost everyone we interacted, regardless of their gender or age talked about their favourite football team in the national league. About Turkish food, my personal favourite was Turkish bread and kebab served with a grilled green chilli (capsicum.) Cheese, olives and the sweet delicacies (Turkish delights) and flavoured teas are worth mentioning. Back then I wasn’t very fond of flavoured teas, but after having tried different flavoured teas during the trip, I ended up buying some flavoured tea to bring back home. One of the best memories of that trip was the boat rides on Bosphorus and Marmara Sea, the seagulls that flew overhead, the warm breeze and the lovely people who assisted and helped us.

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