As with most trips, by the time the planning is done, and the paying for is (almost) done, and the getting the house and the pets and the kid who is holding all those things together done…well, it’s exhausting.
Sure there is the excitement that comes with a long journey but sometimes, you (as in me) just begin to wonder if it it will all be worth it.
And so, by the time we packed and the notes were written and left (to be ignored, I’m sure) on the kitchen counter, I was almost in tears when we finally set out for the airport.
We have been talking about and dreaming of this adventure for a long time. We’re good…and experienced, travelers and were just waiting for that guy that I like so much’s Sabbatical to begin. And so once we arrived at the airport, got all checked in and then did the necessary thing…headed to the lounge. Because one must lounge prior to a long flight…right?
There was food and drinks and lots of laughs. We’re starting this journey with our best friends who were planning to show us their city…the one that they love so much.
But first…a 14 hour flight. The joyful kind with an empty seat between us.
Turkish Air for the win. Menu’s and slippers and socks and chapstick and movies and you almost forget for like a minute that you’re flying above the clouds in a tin can.
The whole way there, we chased the sunset.
And once we landed in Istanbul, we were whisked off to our friends home for the most. amazing. meal. ever. Turkish food…real Turkish food, is so fresh and delicious and oh my, I just couldn’t get enough.
Until I couldn’t keep up and fell asleep at the table. Sleep…I needed sleep.
The next few days were filled with so many things to see and touch and taste and experience…the Grand Bazaar, the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Basilica Cistern, fresh, hot simit, listened as the prayer bells sounded, took a taxi ride that was probably one of the scariest ever – yet was the fastest and cheapest, so there was that, a cruise across the Bosphorus to Asia (so we could lunch on the same continent as Matthew) and then back to the Europe side to wander the spice market and buy saffron to bring home.
And tea. Lots of turkish tea.
We had dinner with friends and by this point, I was in love with this city. The people…they are amazing. The food…unbelievable. Shish kebob and a baked hummus that I cannot wait to make at home.
And on our last night, amid texts from home over the news of what is happening in Turkey, we celebrated at a special restaurant with friends. Hulya and Erdin…we will never forget your hospitality.
And then we were off. The foursome was separating – they were off to Cyprus and we were off to Sicily. I missed them immediately…it’s fun to travel with people who travel the way you do.
I had no expectations prior to going to Turkey and did no research…I didn’t need to since we were with friends the whole time. And because of that, we got the insiders view and it was amazing.
I can’t wait to go back.