Valery's Mlog

Mindlog of a Freak
February 3rd, 2012

Couchsurfing in Istanbul (part 2)

(03.2.2012: I know the events took place more than two years ago and I also know I should have turned this draft into a post back then… but still I’d better do that later than never.)

Saturday

We overslept and missed the boat trip we planned for the morning so we went the meeting in Fatih where lots of landmarks of Istanbul and former Constantinopole are located. Finding a place to park in this district is a difficult task during holidays so we did it in Karaköy and crossed the Galata bridge walking. On the top of this two-level bridge you could see a huge number of fishermen waiting for their catch to get bored of the muddy water and take a trip to someone’s plate in a nearby restaurant. However we were in a hurry so I ate something as simple as “balık ekmek” (bread with fish) right on the street. :)

We climbed the road to Ayasofiya and Topcapı Sarayı but we couldn’t actually see much as you could spend a whole day in the castle… and we had about half an hour. People were waiting for us in a cafe nearby. As soon as we got together we visited Sultanahmet Cami. Although it is known as The Blue Mosque it doesn’t seem blue at all but it was definitely impressive! We took some photos and went on. Near Mehmet Akif Ersoy park we saw a band of about 20 people playing an Ottoman military march everybody seemed to know. After visiting the famous Kapalıçarşı and buying souvenirs and (of course) Turkish delight we crossed Galata bridge again to get back to Karaköy. In caffeehouses around you could see people smoking nargile, drinking tea and playing traditional games like Tavla and Okey almost on the street. It’s their way to relax during holidays and we gave it a try. It works!

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October 31st, 2009

Couchsurfing in Istanbul (part 1)

This post turned out to be too long so I splitted it into two parts. I am sorry for being late with it and I hope those who insisted on it will excuse me! :)

Introduction

A month ago a friend of mine – Hristo called me with an offer which sounded like this:

- Hey! What about couchsurfing in Istanbul at the first meeting of “Turkish and Bulgarian Friends” group?

You see… I had an idea about what couchsurfing was (or at least I thought so) and I was not very keen on it. We live in a dangerous world after all and sleepovers at the home of someone I didn’t know sounded a bit risky to me. I generally prefer not doing anything to taking any risks but this time I decided to do something against my nature. So I agreed… but I bought myself a sleeping bag just in case. :)

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