We spent 12 days in Istanbul. The database, expected to spend just a week, but we were faster than what it had been calculated. Finally, we are very pleased with this good break. It helped make a good point and rest... before the season 2 of our adventure: Asia!
Our "spots" dodos in Istanbul
Well, it took finding a roof all the time! It was a little of everything.
- A first evening arriving Hostel: Hostel Mavi. Very nice, 3 minutes from Hagia Sophia and yet not very expensive; and a good Turkish breakfast! It we had been advised by 2 German cyclists crossed the road in Tekirdag: thanks guys!
- Then we spent 4 nights in a roommate of students. We had the grand salon for us all alone, cool! Unfortunately, they were in a week of review, suddenly it didn't too the time to share great thing...
- And finally 7 nights in a small "home": an airbnb apart. The luxury to feel a little "home" for a few days. Well, we enjoyed this luxury with the family.
This big break in Istanbul has been the opportunity to check the status of our equipment after 2 months and a half MOP!
- sides bikes: we changed the brakes, cables of speed, done a little all the screws that had taken the game!
There are also...
- repaired our stove (seal pump that wouldn't break, he did us see all colors!)
- cleaning duvets, water bottles, bags, bikes...
- repaired the zipper of my bag-suitcase: a French-speaking Turkish, crossed the streets took US store in-store until find us someone capable of repair. We were ready to buy one, in the end it was enough 2-3 shots of pliers! Top!
- Créé nos cartes visites ! Ça faisait un bon moment qu’on en avait envie, mais on n’avait jamais eu le temps. Ça va être super pratique pour donner l’adresse du site aux gens qu’on croise. Si vous venez nous voir, promis vous en aurez une ! 😉
Family tourism, and a nice surprise!
The parents of Thomas came to join us for our 2nd week, Sunday to Friday. We were super pleased to discover the sights of the city with them.
On Monday night, while we tasted a good piece of Roquefort (it's good to find good flavors from us!) our renter of the apartment comes ringing. He tells us that it must leave the apartment because someone comes tonight. It remains puzzled a few seconds, the rental is made for another 4 days before climb the stairs... Emilie, Pascal and Ines (or Thomas's sister, Sabrina le beauf', and little niece of 9 months!). We are all moved with this surprise that it is absolutely not expected.
In short, so we were finally at 7 to visit Istanbul!
It has walked a lot, Bank European but also Asian side (Kadıköy, a district of Asia, fairly modern and well life's "real life"). We loved the sights but not which revolves around: restaurants that triple the price, touts before eating, the "errors" of calculations of the notes... In short, all those little things that were not found in the rest of the country and that make us well feel that in the eyes of traders we are "the purses on legs".
But we liked...
- The Basilica Cistern
- The Hagia Sophia Church/mosque
- The beautiful Blue Mosque
- The grand Bazaar, with its alleys where you get lost
- The Spice market
- The huge Palace of the Sultans (Topkapi) and his Harem full of tiles painted in blue (Iznik ceramics)
- And... to take the boat from one bank to another: an overview of the entire city, and especially watch seagulls follow the boat very near, be able to carefully observe their every detail!
OK, Istanbul, this is cool... but it's not all rosy no more!
A few negative points:
- in December, it is not hot! There was only 2 days of Sun and the temperature at 7-8 ° often. Fortunately, the tea is a tradition here! The advantage? Surely less than mid-season in touristic places! And that you love!
- public transport: when we know what take, not to worry, the metros and trams including super clean and modern, not to worry. On the other hand when it comes to search a ride on the internet... have, is torn off the hair! The site of their equivalent RATP seemed simply unusable.
- pollution: had warned us, and it is true! Istanbul is a city polluted sooooo. It well pecking the throat when one takes a slightly too busy avenue...
- taxi vs. bike: IEA, IEA, IEA! I think that for the moment Istanbul won the trophy the galley city bike: can roll, ok; but better to have eyes wide open, because for many cars and taxis in particular, it does not even exist I think!
- We were surprised to have trouble finding wifi in bars and restaurants. But hey, we still there where we slept.
What we liked in the city...
- A metro brand-new, ad free, and with beautiful decorations.
- The Baklava from Karaköy Guluoglureputed to be the best in the city. For punishment, we went there twice! We don't have a reputation as gourmands for nothing!
- Whole districts dedicated to a type of store: DIY, jewelry, bikes (too practical! *), fabrics (the District of market St. Pierre in Paris, next to it, it is more fun!) and even an area for belt buckles!
- For Thomas: Recognize the districts of the city and monuments where he spent plenty of time to play... Assassin's Creed Revelation! (Video game)
- For Thomas again: spend 1 hour at the Barber, super nice and funny. For me: Let me offer teas in the meantime, and taking pictures.
- Discover that the delivery of Mc Donald's and Burger King, it exists! Oh yeah!
- The spectacle of the Nice skewer of fishermen present days and nights on the main deck of the city.
- Meet a Turkish class! But it happens to learn more... thereby !
* for buddies-cyclos who care, the District of Istanbul bicycle shops, it is to the West of the station in Sirkeci, on the other side, the streets of Piri Reis Sk Ankara Cd and its neighbours. They sought a little info so we share!
One night, unable to open the lock at the bottom on the door of the apartment... The key does not fit.
Armed with a blue card expired, and helped by neighbors, Thomas has managed to open the door! Future gentleman burglar?
The proof in pictures...