How a Love Affair (with a Country) starts…

Written by World Travel Warehouse on Oct 20, 2005

Cruises.  Ports of Call.

Suliemaniye Mosque and Galata Bridge

You arrive…in town for a quicky …off a cruise ship.

In most Greece – Turkey Cruise itineraries, you’re usually given 24 hours to check out Istanbul, which is one of maybe 10 different ports of call on many Greece cruises, and then you’re gone again! Poof, it’s like you were never there — almost!

So I stepped off the ship in 2005, not realizing my life would drastically change forever. Yes, I knew about the minarets on the skyline and yes, I’ll admit I heard about the call to prayer (a little bit). I’d even heard about this “cool street up over the Hill (later discovered to be Istiklal Avenue)” – I love looking back now at my naivety in thinking this was the extent of Istanbul…

It was actually raining heavily when we arrived, never a nice way to walk around a new city to sightsee, but you do what you have to, when you’re in a new place with 24 hours on your hands.
Upon arrival, we walked, from Karaköy (where the cruise ships dock), across the Galata Bridge with all its wonderful lights, and where everyone is your friend (which seems a little daunting at first – how can everyone be so friendly?!??!) and up to Hagia Sofia museum/church, and lastly, around Sultanahmet Square.

That’s it – I thought, I had seen all I needed to see in Istanbul! Of course I also thought (incorrectly) that Suliemaniye’s Mosque (as seen in the picture) was the Blue Mosque, so I figured I didn’t need to go back and see that either!! Done.

I thought to myself … Maybe, I’d come back one day to visit the “street up over the hill.”

Maybe…but as a world traveller, there are so many places to visit in the World and well… I’d now visited Istanbul, Turkey. On to the next destination!

Maybe, if I found enough time some day, I’d come back to visit this city that intrigued me enough, to warrant a possible SECOND visit…

Sultans of Swing

A lot of maybe’s led to deep love affair with Istanbul. Who could have imagined??

That day I stepped off the cruise ship in 2005, and (now) countless trips to Turkey and Istanbul later, I realize how a “quicky” stop in a port of call can change your life…

I really wish even now, that I’d used the WHOLE 24 hours I had back then. It will take a lifetime to see everything that I want to in Istanbul & Turkey.

Of course we were sucked into wearing the funny garb for a photo op (as above).

I’ll be writing more about my love affair. It’s been passionate and steamy at times…

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Categories: Greece cruise, Istanbul, Istanbul stopover, Med cruise, port of call, Turkey, World Travel WarehouseTags: ,

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