During my trip I had a one day layover in Istanbul between Israel and Italy. I slept in the airport the night of my arrival. In the morning I found a café in the airport and got some tea. I exchanged some money and headed down to the subway. It took me a few minutes to figure out how to buy a token but I finally got one, passed through the gate, and hopped on the first train I saw. I went up to a man and told him I had only a day in Istanbul and asked where I should go. He told me to head down to the city center with The Blue Mosque and The Grand Bazaar. I thanked him and got off on my stop. I had trouble returning my ticket into the machine and friendly bystanders volunteered to help. Then I began my exploring. It was early and things were barely open. People were just beginning their days.
Everybody that saw me gave me a friendly smile.
I walked into one of the few open stores. There were tea assortments, spices, Turkish delight, and other candy. An eye appealing and mouth watering store. I walked around the store taking pictures in awe of the sights and smells. I smiled on my way out and the elderly man of the store handed me a piece of candy shaped like a heart. It truly made my heart melt.
I ended up wandering down to the harbor where I found a cart of croissants and sat on a bench. I ate my breakfast observing the men fishing and the ferries departing.
I continued my wandering and stumbled upon The Grand Bazaar. It was a never ending market of stores with a variety of things being sold from lamps to jewelry to spices and tea.
As I was exploring I ran into the man from the train and his girlfriend. What a coincidence with how giant this market was. We ended up going through the rest of the Bazaar together.
As we made our way to the end of the bazaar the couple headed off to lunch. On my way back to the train I saw this woman sitting with the birds, feeding them. She sat in solitude and smiled for me.
After walking around for hours I was exhausted and was ready to head back to the airport until my flight. Although I was only in Istanbul for a day it was one of my favorite places. The people always helped me without me even asking, they always had a smile on their face, and there was so much to explore.