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Written on: Friday July 28th, 2006

A journal entry from: Euro Trip

Heyyy how are you?  I am doing alright!!! I am tired, and heading to bed soon.  Not much partying going on in Istanbul, that is fo sho!

So yes, I am in Istanbul right now.  My flight out of Heathrow (which is ages away and a mission to get to) was at 7.15am yesterday morning.  I had the option of taking 3 night buses which would take 2hrs or else a taxi which would have been 38 pounds.  Pricey.  However, randomly, on my way home from the internet cafe I saw a new mini cab place that had opened up and they did trips to Heathrow for 22 pounds so I did that and it only took 25mins as well!!  I flew into Hungary first and had a 2 hr stop over before carrying on to Istanbul.  Sally, Neil, and JP arrived almost the same time I did, and I saw them in the custom's line up!  Perfect!!!

So this is the first country that it sucks to be Canadian in.... you have to buy a visa to visit here.  Most places it costs around 15 euro or 10 pounds.  For Canadians, it costs SIXTY AMERICAN DOLLARS.  I was SO angry!!!  And for only 3 days, too!!  What a waste of money!  So if you know anyone going to Turkey, tell them to go for a long time and make it worth it!

When we got through customs, etc. it was a huge mission to get to our hostel.  Took a metro then the tram then a huge walk.  Took over an hour I think.  We went and checked in, freshened up, and checked out the area.  We are staying right by the Blue Mosque which is very touristy but there's a lot happening in and around the area which is good!!  We went and had dinner and then went to a couple of bars then went to the bar in our hostel for a bit.

Today we went to the Blue Mosque and took some photos.  Was quite funny.  You can't wear shoes (fair deal) but also girls have to cover up their heads and legs.  I was wearing a halter top and jean skirt so I was wrapped in blankets from just about head to toe!!  So funny!!  Afterwards we went to the Grand Bazaar and got hopelessly lost and haggled to death.  I had some guy ask me how many camels did I want for my eyes.  And most would be like, "Hey, pretty girl, come see what I am selling."  It actually got really annoying after a while and the market was just full of rip off designer clothing and jewellery.  Same stuff at just about every stall.  We went back to our hostel for a little siesta then went to the palace and took a ferry to the other side of Istanbul and back. Had dinner, hung out in a park, and now are back and all packed up again.  Tomorrow we are getting picked up at 6am by a bus tour that is taking us to Gallipoli and Troy and then to the ferries for the Greek Islands. Should be good!!