Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Istanbul Travels

Hi there. I'm sorry it's been a while, but I've got an exciting reason to have kept you waiting. As you might know, I went to Istanbul for a prolonged weekend and just returned yesterday. The trip was pretty amazing, a lot better than I'd expected. We went with our firm's soccer team to play in a two-day tournament. And because a two day trip to Istanbul without any time to go sightseeing isn't really worth it, we decided to leave early and enjoy two additional days of exploring the city.

After arriving on Wednesday night, Thursday was our first day in the city. We went to see the big tourist attractions such as the Blue Mosque and the Hagia Sophia first and then went to the Grand Bazaar. These were all very impressive and not like anything I've seen in other cities before. I especially loved the Blue Mosque, from the outside as well as the inside. On Thursday night we went to a beautiful restaurant high up above the roofs of Istanbul, where you could see a big part of the city. The view was absolutely breathtaking and of course I had to take a million pictures.

On Friday, we decided to have a more relaxed day with less walking and more enjoying the sun at the hotel pool. In the late afternoon, though, we took a boat across the Bosphorus to explore the Asian part of Istanbul and also to do some shopping. Then we had a delicious dinner and decided to explore Istanbul's nightlife, which, as it turns out, is pretty good.

Unfortunately we had to get up rather early the next day for the first day of soccer. This was so much fun, even though we lost almost every game. The weather was perfect as well, not too hot but still sunny (which also meant I got a really bad sunburn by the end of the day). That night we went on a boat tour with all of the 18 teams participating in the tournament where we also got to meet some new people. After the boat tour, we went out again, only to find it even harder to get up early the next morning for the end of the tournament.

On Sunday night, then, we were all pretty exhausted and stayed close to the hotel to eat and have a drink afterwards. Overall, the trip was amazing and I'm not sure how much I like being back now. I really liked Istanbul, even though it wasn't the most beautiful city I've ever been to. But being there with all these great people definitely made it memorable.

I'll leave you with some of the pictures I've taken during the trip. Thank you for reading!

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