I've decided to split this into serveral blog posts, Istanbul, South Turkey, Greek Islands and Mainland Greece. I did have plans to write it all in one post, but I've realised there is far far too much to cram in.


August 7th 2013, I found myself on my second ever flight, and my first flight longer than 45 minutes. Ruth (middle) found herself sat next to me, having her fingers broken as I clenched my hand around hers praying we wouldn't die. And Tess (right) found herself sat 5 rows back, on the other side of the plane, sitting next to  a balding middle aged Turkish bloke, having booked the wrong flight seat. 


the adventurers set off

We should probably have known in the first few hours of landing in Istanbul that this trip would by no means run smoothly. Mistake number 1: I picked up the totally wrong bag from luggage pickup and was poked by a tiny, spectacled american girl, who told me I actually had her bag. Mistake number 2: We took a 5 minute taxi ride, didn't tell the driver to put the meter on and were charged 30TL. Mistake number 3: This wasn't really our fault, but we got off at the wrong hostel in the wrong district and had to make our way across to the other side of  the city via 3 buses, a tram, and about an hour of walking.

Istanbul is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, and easily the most beautiful I have ever visited. Despite our first 24hours (I also managed to lose the key to our room which meant not getting our 15euro deposit) of problemos, our stay in the city turned out to be an eventful one. Which is what happens when you ignore every single rule ever set out to you by your parents ever.





After a very long day of sightseeing, we decided the time had come to take the World Famous Bosphorus Boat Tour. Tess, prime barter-er of the group, managed to get the prices down from 20euro each to 8. And despite a meeting with a less-than-pleasant greasy boatman (of course Ruth befriended him) we decided to take the deal. After all, what's the worst that can happen to three white european girls in a foreign country?

The boat tour was beautiful. Made even more beautiful by the fact the captain of the boat took a shining to us. He saw the three of us standing on the jam packed boat deck and got one of his 'crew' to invite us on in to the cabin. There, we had the best view of the Bosphorus. We were offered drinks. And we even all got a chance to drive the boat. I completely get that Emily Davison did not step out infront of a horse so that girl like us could drive boats because a bloke liked the look of us. But really, who were we to deny that kind of opportunity. 

Fabulous collage of the 3 of us driving the boat

The next night, we found ourselves sat at the same restaurant we always went to. A place called 'Shadow Bar' in Sultanahmet. The people who ran the bar had taken a similar shining to us as the Bosphorus boat captain, and so we got to eat there for pretty much free. On this occasion, one of the bar staff actually gave us 20TL to buy ourselves cocktails. It was whilst drinking our Tequila Sunrises that we noticed an American guy sat next to us. We got chatting, as you do when everyone around is speaking Turkish, and after a bit of chit chat he told us his name was Joey and he was an architect living in Dubai, but orignally from California.
Just so you have an understanding of the type of guy Joey was, here is a quick quote: "I saw Sting does pilates. So now I do pilates.'' Yup, he was that guy.

The three of us and our new best friend left Shadow Bar in search of new things. We'd all heard rumors of a club uptown, so we thought we'd check it out, but to no success. After sitting in a random, dead, club for the best part of an hour (and having all our drinks bought for us), Joey turned to us and said in his 90210 accent, 'Girls, I'm not really digging this vibe. Let's get out of here. Tonight is all on me.' And with that, we left, he chucked us all in a taxi, down to the wildest part of the city (seriously, the Turkish are about as classy as the British) and paid for our entire night. Including the cab fare home.

Now, I can't go into detail about what happened for the best part of six hours. Mainly, because I can't remember. But here are 3 photos to sum up that night.

please note Joey, on the right, wearing Tess' scarf.



You know what they say, pictures speak a thousand words! We even had time the next day to drag ourselves out of bed and visit the Haigia Sophia, one of the Seventh Wonders of the Ancient World. (History lesson here) it is a church turned mosque, completed in 500AD and still standing today. 1477 years old. Mind blowing, I know. 



Three very tired, very hungover teenage girls pictures above. Note to self, do not pose for photo's when looking as rough as you feel. 

I promise Part 2 will come soon. Patience is a virtue!

Ciao for Now! x