So much has happened since landing in Istanbul on Monday 29 May – I’m still trying to get my head around Turkey which is an interesting country. It’s possibly the best overall travel experience I’ve had so far, not least because people have been amazingly friendly and hospitable, and the children are so adorable! They’re so curious about us and not the least bit shy about practising their English.
Istanbul itself is a massive sprawl that feels both European and Asian at the same time – European in the way it is modern and easy to blend in, and Asian in the frenetic energy and chaos. It feels like the kind of place that will take a long time to get to the bottom of, and now I totally understand why one of my uni friends decided to choose Istanbul over Sydney. She was the first person I ever met who came from a migrant background who wanted to come back to where the family came from.
In Istanbul we met up with my friend Mike, of Rottin’ in Denmark fame, and because I’m running a bit short on time at the moment, I’m going to direct you to this site which has an overview of our time together plus photos. I’ve added a few photos of my own and the rest are similar to Mike’s since we were basically together the whole time we were there. We’re currently in Antakya (or Antioch as it was known by Christians in medieval times) and we’re going to try to go to Aleppo in Syria tomorrow even though we don’t have tourist visas. Wish us luck with the Syrian immigration officials!