Istanbul (not Constantinople).


by Christopher Eckel

Palli and I arrived on an overcast day, shuffling on and off trains as we made our way to our first host, Hakan. He greeted us in what we were to find out was a very Turkish manner, with a table full of food and tea. These were the first of hundreds of cups of tea would be poured in the 10 days that followed.

If there was ever a city made for walking, Istanbul is it. We woke early many days and strolled through the streets, often guided by nothing more than an interesting cafe or a street that had just the right amount of charm to draw us in. Our wandering was always rewarded in the form of wonderfully friendly people and food that only got better the deeper we ventured.

Our hosts took us in like we were family, and showed us sides of the city that seemed relatively absent of the tourism the city is known for. Overall, a city filled with history, hospitality, delicious food, and a never-ending cup of tea that I cannot wait to return to.

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