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Sorry it has taken me so long to start posting about our trip to Turkey. We have been pretty busy finishing up the semester – including 2 nights of marking exams from 4-10pm – and getting ready for our winter trip. As we speak I am posting this from our hotel room in the Czech Republic. We have officially begun our winter vacation and our trip around Europe. We will meet up with my parents in about a week to celebrate Christmas in Munich and I couldn’t be more excited. Okay, well let’s get back to Turkey . . .

DSCN9900Our trip to Istanbul ended up being one of my favorites – and mainly because it was the first trip that I didn’t get sick! Traveling with me isn’t always fun, as Scott can tell you, due to my temperamental stomach. In both Nepal and Thailand I got pretty sick and in most of my other travels I was struggling with stomach damage and unable to eat most foods. In Istanbul I had no stomach problems and was able to enjoy literally every minute of this trip! I could explore and eat and not worry!

DSCN9881Anyways, We arrived in Istanbul and ended up taking the metro then the tram from the airport to our hotel. Public transit is so easy to use in Istanbul and way cheaper than taxis – I’m hoping to do a post about public transit in Istanbul later so be looking for that! We stayed at the Crowne Plaza in Istanbul because we became members of the Intercontinental group due to all our traveling. The hotel was beautiful, the staff was helpful, and we were able to have access to their club lounge since we were members – which meant free breakfast and afternoon snacks. Here’s some snapshots of the hotel:

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enjoying the club lounge

enjoying the club lounge

We had a beautiful corner room with big windows . . .

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After resting for a while we went back out to explore the city. We were really close to the Grand Bazaar and so spent the evening wandering around its hallways, getting some kebaps, and enjoy some delicious Turkish tea. I loved the tea in Turkey and I loved the cute little glasses tea was always served in! I even ended up buying some at the Bazaar. The Bazaar was about a 7 minute walk from the hotel or an even quicker tram ride. We found the people in the Bazaar to be really friendly and not pushy as at all. If approached by someone to buy something we just smiled, said we weren’t interested and they would leave us alone. We had heard that people at the Bazaar can be too pushy but we never once encountered this and found everyone we met to be friendly and understanding if we didn’t want to buy a rug or a leather jacket!

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We really loved the Grand Bazaar and ended up going back two more times while in Istanbul! Which of course means we bought too much : ) On the way back from the Grand Bazaar we found the most amazing candy shop right near our hotel – and if you know anything about me you know we went here EVERY day! They had the most delectable Turkish Delight I have ever tasted. I have tried Turkish delight before and never knew what the fuss was all about – well, now I know! Turkish delight from Turkey is a whole different story – its soft, full of flavor, and lights up every taste bud in your mouth! We of course also got a box of baklava in all kinds of flavors! I think I miss Koska most of all.

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The last two is me enjoying all these delights at the hotel. Sorry the pics aren’t better but trust me these were amazing!!! Scott and I have places we have found while traveling that we wish we could teleport to whenever we wish – well, when I’m craving desserts (which is always!) I wish I could teleport to Koska . . .

DSCN9882Sadly that’s all I have time for now. I should get to sleep because tomorrow we are off to explore Prague!

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