Day one: Welcome to Istanbul!


The journey including a stop in Bucharest takes all day and it is already early evening when I arrive at the airport where Laura picks me up. We take the bus to the city. Almost all buses go to „Taksim Square“, an indication that it must be a central point in the city. The bus stops in the middle of a narrow street and we are told to get out, supposedly we are already in Taksim but I am confused though, as I cannot see anything around us looking like a square. When we get off the bus we find ourselves in a busy, narrow street with traffic passing us closely while carrying the suitcases. I immediately ask Laura about the square, who leads me there to find it finally opening up two streets further. Curious that the bus stop isn´t closer…?!

One can hear Turkish music from a loudspeaker. On one side of the square there is a summer festival in progress. People are selling traditional food and handicrafts. It is Friday night and the festival area by Taksim becomes a busy place.

I pull my suitcase down the uneven, partly under construction, Istiklal Street. Side streets are going up and downhill, frequently offering a glimpse of the Bosporus. We meet Ekin, a close friend of Laura, in front of Galatasaray School in Istiklal and he leads us the way through the labyrinth of alleys, where we lose orientation right after the third change of direction…

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