Day 1 – Istanbul

As you might have seen on Emma’s post, our start on this trip wasn’t the best one. But it could have been worse I guess. We made it to Istanbul, with all our packing intact, nothing broken, besides our fragile ego’s ,on time. I even experienced a first, our luggage all came out within the first 2 minutes of waiting at the bagage drop(!).

One of the highlights of travelling through Turkey for me when planning the trip, was to spend at least one day in Istanbul. I love history and visiting Hagia Sophia has been on my history bucket list forever.

We started our day by having a thrilling taxi ride to say the least. The taxi driver used the roadside as much as he actually stayed in the lanes. We arrived at the hotel unscathed and collapsed on the bed. For me this was the first time in weeks where I could fully relax and just be in the moment. I’m a person who likes to plan, and preferebly have a backup plan to the backup plan just in case.

Next up was one of the most important stops on our itinerary, eating döner kebab. It wasn’t the best I’ve had but honestly, after waking up at 4:15 am. going through the hassle at the airport and making it to the hotel anything would have tasted fantastic.

The rest of the day was spent exploring Istanbul, we got lost in the grand bazaar, took some pictures outside a mosque I forgot the name of. After a quick coffee break it was time to visit Hagia Sophia. I don’t think I’ve ever been awestruck by a monument, building or a place before but Hagia Sophia did that to me. The level of history, detail, complexity in the construction was just fantastic. I didn’t think it woult be worth to go inside, until Emma convinced me that we should. I hate to admit it but as most other times, she was right…

Tomorrow we’ll be heading to Ankara, a 4½ hour high speed train-journey before we snack pack our backpacks and start one of the highlights of the trip. 30 hours on the Dogu Express from Ankara to Kars. It will either be the most calm, relaxing and relationship building experience of our lives, or it will be like The Shining on a train.


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