I am staying in an Airbnb apartment, pictured on the right. Simple and cozy, but close to two trains and some attractions.
There was some sort of protest going on, hence, the riot police. It looked peaceful to me. It's funny the people that are always concerned about me going to places like Istanbul or South America, fail to realize it's more likely that I'll be shot in America than any of the places I visit. In fact, despite all the Muslims I saw wearing the hajab, the "muzzein" bellowing out, and the mosques dotting the city-it feels very western. Many people are drinking alcohol and I was a little taken aback by the McDonald's, Burger Kings, hotdog stands, Arby's, and Starbucks I saw Taksim. There's even a Shake Shack!
Tupac in Istanbul.
Lots of appetizing food on display. I'm looking forward to sampling as much as I can.
My light dinner after more than 11 hours in the air eating airplane food: mini pide (spicy sausage, mixed, and four cheese), which is like a cross between a pie and pizza with an Efes pilsner.
The next day on my way to the Tophane tram station I found this mural.
For breakfast I finally got to sample menmen, a spicy eggs dish that burned the roof of my mouth due to the "actual heat," not the spices. Now I know better.
Dolphin phone booth near the tram.
Views from the tram.