Last Christmas holiday, I finally managed to visit the country that has a special place in my heart, Turkey. I used to live there in 2011 – 2013, and without a doubt it was one pivotal point in my life. Living there on my own gave such a huge impact in my way of seeing the world. It grew me as a person.
I’ve always been wanting to go back but hesitated due to political situation over there. And finally after a while, I managed to convince my hubby to go visit Turkey. I felt ecstatic. I was counting the days down like a happy little bird. I wondered so much, is Turkey still the same Turkey I loved so dearly?
Finally the day has come. We arrived in Istanbul pretty late and just stayed in an rented apartment in Taksim, because in the next morning we’re leaving to the Princess’s Island (Buyukada)!
Click the image to enlarge.
We spent 2 nights at this amazing, beautiful, refurnished historical hotel Splendid Palace. The ambience of the island in overall is sooooo peaceful, calm, surrounded by cute fatty cats. Hubby loved this island so much.
After 2 days, we went back to Istanbul.
It was actually a warm winter in Turkey, because it normally snows in December. Instead, we had some rainy days 😦 Believe me, Istanbul covered in snow is truly magical.
I took my husband to different tourist attractions. To be honest I’ve been to these places at least 4-5 times already. When I lived in Istanbul, I used to take some other travelers around discovering different places. Without smartphones! I couldn’t believe myself how did I do that! I was kind of street smart, I learnt the language and never hesitated to ask people. I made friends with all kind of people, from street sellers, a retired war journalist i met in the ferry, waitresses, DJs, restaurant owners, musicians, poets.. This city is so vibrant and lively, I adore the spirit and the warmth of the people.
Back to our trip, once we’re back in Istanbul, we stayed in Hilton for 5 nights including the New Year’s Eve. We planned to maybe join our friend’s party in Galata area, but for safety reason we decided to sign up to join the party at our hotel instead. I also took him to my old office in Nisantasi area where I used to work as an architect there.
In early January, we traveled by train to Eskisehir. This is the town I first lived in when i came to Turkey. You will find out why. This town has a special place in my heart. Do you know, some place that can wrench your heart whenever you think about it? So much nostalgia in this city.
With a heavy heart, we had to travel back to Istanbul for our last night there before flying back to Holland.
On our last day, we went up Galata Tower at 9 AM. Unfortunately the weather was cloudy, completing the melancholic vibe of this city. It was hard to say goodbye, but I can feel in my heart that I will see you again, Istanbul. Now that I have a lover, this city wouldn’t feel as unbearable as it was 5 years ago.