I flew from Berlin so it was a good opportunity to meet up with some old friends and see each other again. I was lucky to be hosted by the cousin of a friend, who lives in a good distance to the airport, so that I didn't have to travel too far to get there.
I only got to Berlin in the afternoon and left the next morning, so there wasn't much that I did apart from chatting and drinking tea with my host.
In the morning I took a flight to Istanbul, where I stayed the next days. Then I went to Ankara, Eskisehir, Bursa and back to Istanbul in the course of two weeks. I flew back to Berlin and stayed with another family friend.
I packed lightly and only travelled with 12 kg, but I had lots of combination possibilities and about 60 % of my travel wardrobe was handmade. I mainly took sweaters, t-shirts, tights, a skirt and jeans, because I knew that it wouldn't be so warm when I got to Turkey. It was actually a good travel wardrobe and I wore nearly every piece.
In Istanbul I stayed in a hostel and also returned there, when I came back at the end of the travel. The six bed room was clean and filled all my needs. No kitchen meant to eat out or get something from a grocery store like this yummy chocolate dessert. I met two American girls on my first evening and went out to dinner with them each night. We tested local restaurants and also had typical mezze in the bar next to our hostel. I didn't really explore the nightlife of Istanbul, so maybe I'll have to return one day to party in the city.
The hostel was situated behind the Blues Mosque and Hagia Sophia, so in a good place for dinner and sightseeing.
After Istanbul I went to Ankara by bus because I wanted to visit a friend there. We got to know each other on my first trip away from work in 2013 when I was travelling thorugh Croatia and Italy. Ankara is the capital of Turkey and a very political city. I experienced that myself as I was travelling before some kind of election. To market their party the parties go around the city by car and blast their messages from speakerphones as loud as they can - which is quite disturbing at times. They also decorate the streets with little bunting in their party's colour.
I explored the city by myself one day, as my friend was terribly sick, but also went through the town with her when she felt better. We drank nargile (shisha) and had some colourful traditional ottoman sweets.
This is Ankara when the sun is setting and the evening muezzin call is heard all over the city. We were standing on a hill next to the old castle and enjoyed the view from above as all the lights in the city slowly started to turn on. I t was great!
From Ankara I went to Eskisehir, but it was raining all night when I arrived and I only stayed there till the next afternoon. There is a wax figure museum, which I didn't visit but which should be a cool place. The mayor of Bursa actually makes the figures himself as a hobby. All over the city you find different sculptures and I imagine the city to be a good place in summer. The hostel I stayed in was close to the center, but unfortunately not too many guests there, so I stayed by myself in a four bed room.
From Eskisehir I took a bus to Bursa and met a girl there, whom I contacted before via couchsurfing. She picked me up at the bus station though it was far outside the town and brought me to a famous Iskender place - actually the place where Iskender kebap was invented and the only place that is allowed to call it Iskender. We also went to the silk bazaar and I got some nice fabrics there.
From Bursa I took a ferry back to Istanbul, met with an old aquaintance from study times and enjoyed some last days in the city before flying back to Berlin. There I had two nights at a friends place and visited the Mauerpark flea.
The holiday made some good memories! I'm yet to print out some photos and document the journey in a travel photobook, but just thinking about the trip makes me smile. There are lots of more stories to tell from the trip, but that would fill pages. So I leave you instead with the picture of two silk scarves which I got in Bursa and that I want to turn into tops.