Wanderlust: Istanbul

8:11:00 PM

                                                                                    Source: briandolleman.tumblr.com via Leah on Pinterest

On Monday, my brother and I leave for a 9 day vacation in Istanbul, Turkey. It's a graduation present (he graduated from high school and I graduated from college) from our mom and we're both pumped. I have serious case of wanderlust and I've been itching to leave the US and go on a adventure. Istanbul has been on my traveling bucket list since I was a kid and I can't believe I finally get a chance to visit this historic city. Aaron is a little more relaxed about going abroad, he's just along for the ride. Regardless, we're both pretty excited to experience Turkey.  Here's our list of things to do in Istanbul.

1) Visit Hagia Sophia: This world famous mosque (once a church) is supposed to be incredible. 

2) Visit Blue Mosque: The Blue Mosque is considered a beautiful example of Ottoman empire architecture. 

3) See a Sema performance: also known as the "Whirling Dervishes", this sufi mystic ritual dance famous around the globe and is supposed to be a breathtaking experience. 

4) Try Turkish Coffee and Turkish Tea: I've heard both are strong and worth trying.  I'm not a huge coffee drinker but hey, when in Rome (well, Byzantine empire...)

5) Barter in the Spice Market and the Grand Bazaar: As you already know I love to shop and love a good deal.  I can't wait to explore the labyrinth of stalls in these two amazing markets.

6) Explore the Basilica Cistern: A friend who's been to Turkey before highly recommended touring the Basilica Cistern.

7) Spend an afternoon in the Istanbul Archaeology Museum: My brother is a history buff and we both love museums.  The collection is supposed to be incredible and I can't wait to get a chance to see this highly rated museum.

8) Play backgammon: I've heard from several sources this is a must while in Turkey.  Hopefully someone can teach me because I've never played this game.

9) Go to Europe. Go to Asia: Istanbul's location is incredible.  It straddles the line between Europe and Asia.  Why not visit two continents in one trip?

10) Enjoy some Turkish delights: Sweet treats? YES PLEASE!

I'm sure we'll do more fun things so you'll have to check out my blog once we get out.  Have you been to Turkey? Any suggestions?


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