When I woke up on Jummah morning, Cappadocia was covered in white. It was a complete winter wonderland. I have never seen such a beautiful sight in my life. I absolutely love the snow.
I was genuinely sad to leave Cappadocia this morning. Our flight was at 10:15am so we had to be ready by 8am. The old lady who runs the hotel was a darling and packed us a breakfast for the road. She waved us off with duas and hugs and melted my heart by calling me “Kızım” which means “my daughter”.
The hotel organised the transfer for us to the hotel, we took a minibus to Kayseri airport and made it just in time for our flight. We flew Turkish Airlines this time, it was a way better experience than Pegasus Airlines. If you fly Turkish Airlines, be sure to have their cheese sandwich. I’m really not a big fan of plane food but I actually enjoyed their hot cheese sandwich, it really went down.
As we grew closer to Istanbul, the sky cleared and we had to say goodbye to the snowfall. We reached Istanbul forty five minutes earlier than our original time. A friend told us to take a bus for our transfer so that’s what we did. The bus worked out really cheap, it was 18 TL per person, stress free and definitely worth it.
We got to Sirkeci and walked about ten minutes to the hotel. My mum and sister weren’t very happy because they wanted to take a taxi but to be fair, I really didn’t see one.
We reached Askoç Hotel. I’m going to be honest, it isn’t the best hotel but the location was perfect, it’s a two minute walk from the Sirkeci tram station. We relaxed in the hotel until asr and then decided to explore Istanbul a little.
So, it started: our adventures with public transport. Coming from South Africa, where public transport isn’t something we use at all, we found that it is quite possibly the best thing! First world countries are so privileged.
You have to buy a metro card, fill it with money and swipe. A ride costs anything from as little as 1 TL. We took the tram from Sirkeci to Taksim Square. Taksim Square is amazing. It has the best vibe. They still had the Christmas lights up and Happy New Year 2020 decorations, people were taking pictures and it all felt very festive.
After a whole week of not eating Indian food, we went to Delhi Darbaar for supper. It was a 10/10 experience. I wanted to read maghrib, they don’t have salaah facilities but the lady laid out a musallah for me in the office and turned off the tv that was playing music while I prayed. We ordered some paani puri for starters and butter chicken, lamb biryani and chicken tikka masala for mains. We order rice and butter naan with it. Three meals were enough for the five of us and there was even some leftovers. Everything tasted really good and it satisfied our craving for home food.
We spent some time walking around Taksim Square. I still couldn’t believe that I was walking in Taksim Square, I was on cloud nine.
After getting our fill of Taksim Square, we went back to Fatih. We walked around, had Turkish sweetmeats, watched a guy make baklava and had some sahlep before turning in for the night.
Step count: 9 325