Turkey | Istanbul Part Two and Intrepid's "Turkey Active" Tour

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When we told people we were going to Turkey, we were often recieved with warnings to be careful, and how it may not be safe for three women. These warnings got the better of us so we ended up booking a tour. We selected Intrepid's "Turkey Active" tour, and although it wasn't the cheapest one available, it gave us the opportunity to partake in a lot of activities that we otherwise wouldn't of done, plus it made travelling around Turkey so easy. And although the claims of Turkey being unsafe for women travellers seem unjustified while we were there, we were grateful we booked the tour because it really was a load of fun.

We met our Turkey Active group in Istanbul. The group was very different to the classic travel tours we had seen/been part of. For one, it was significantly smaller, consisting of only 12 (the Turkey Twelve, as we would later call ourselves) plus our local tour guide. And second, it was a very mixed group, with ages ranging from 21-70.

Spice Market selections

To kick off the tour, our Turkish guide took us on a walking tour of the city. The highlights were:
  • The Spice Market: The spice market boasts an array of tea, sweets and, you guessed it, spices. Our guide took us to a store that belonged to his friend where we were able to sample a delicious selection of Turkish Delight (never did I imagine there were so many varieties) and Apple and Pomegranate tea (not being a tea drinker, I took quickly to this sweet, syrupy version).
  • The Bosporus:  This is the body of water that forms part of the boundary between Asia and Europe, and also the strip of water that sits between "Asian" Turkey and "European" Turkey.
The bosporus

After the tour, we were left to our own devices, with the option of meeting up with the group later for dinner. We opted out of meeting the group for dinner (which may have been a regrettable choice!) and instead we caught a ferry to the "Asian" side of Turkey....which was no different to the European side. After some exploration, we went back to Europe for dinner (as you do). We randomly picked a restaurant and Mel and I both ordered what we thought at the time was a delicious doner kebab dish (pictured). The restaurant also gave us a free loaf of Turkish bread and also insisted we have free apple tea (told you in my previous post that it happens a lot).

The offending kebab

We then headed home to get ready for a night out. Unfortunately, that doner kebab hadn't different plans for us. Both Mel and I got food poisoning soon after and spent the night curled in bed. To add salt to the wound, we heard that the rest of the group had enjoyed a lovely meal with no food poisoning and had also used it as a chance to get to know each other and bond as a group. Last time we skipped group dinner!

Stayed tuned as we wonder out of Istanbul and get to know more of Turkey!


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2 comments

  1. Shame about the offending doner kebab, we have all experienced unfortunate food poisoning when least expected. At least you are travelling around the city and enjoying yourself. What a great tour to the spic market and such sweet Turkish treats. Enjoy yourself :D

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  2. Oh dear, what a shame about the food poisoning. I love Turkish delight too -- done well it's fabulous.

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