Istanbul and short visits to Veliko Tarnovo and Svishtov

I used to end of my visa to Turkey for a second visit to Istanbul, together with two friends, Marie and Ewa. I was a little bit concerned before, if I really want to go again, at least it’s a long travel and I’ve already seen a lot. But it’s really a city worth to see (again). The streets are full of life, there are so many interesting views. What surprised me again and again, that people selling things on the street are artists. They all have their own way of advertising their things by shouting, but also arranging their things in a special way. And usually they don’t insist too much (But now I can’t hear „Excuse me, can I ask you a question?“, „Where are you from?“ any more). But they are all men …

This time we didn’t have so much stress to see all the sightseeing spots, we spent most of the time walking around and feeling the city … and shopping.

If you go to Istanbul, you should definitly go to the Galata Tower, the view from their is fascinating. And with an entrance fee of 10 Lira (5 Euros) it’s comparable cheap.

One morning, when my friends went to Aya Sofia which I’ve already seen before, I spent in the area around Taksim Square and Istiklal Street, the most European part of Istanbul (you can also see a lot of women there), taking pictures of city landscapes.

Our hostel (Chillout Cengo) was also located in the area. Very colorful and nice place, and very cheap. I can really recommend it. One evening we went to a pub after we heard good live music from the window – „The Beatles“ (the name of the pub, not of the band, although I would really have enjoyed to see the Beatles – but I think, I’m too young for this). The surprising thing: They didn’t serve alcohol there, everybody was drinking tea. And smoking.

The day before we went to Istanbul I spent in Veliko Tarnovo again. I already told some things about this place in early November. It’s a wonderful place situated in a meander of the river Yantra. And it’s surprisingly difficult to take pictures there, you need the full view and the impression of distances.

After Istanbul I joined Marie for a day to Svishtov, a small town in the North of Bulgaria, located at the Danube river (which we couldn’t see because of heavy fog). Our bus back from Istanbul went to Veliko Tarnovo, where we arrived around 5am. It was „fucking“ cold, and we walked to another bus station for the bus to Svishtov (we could have taken a taxi, but then we would have waited at the other bus station for an hour, which would have been even worse). What to say about Svishtov? It has a university and therefore a lot of students, which brings life to the city. It’s at the Danube and has a port and some industry. There’s a high school which is said to be a copy of the University of Vienna (at least not the main building, but for sure it looks ‚Austrian‘).

You can see more pictures of this journey on my photopages.

After these days I decided to stay some days in Sofia. There’s some work to do at university (exams and home work) and some social things (Erasmus party, concert of one flat-mate, …). Hope you liked my views from Istanbul and the Bulgarian towns.

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