Circa 2014 and it was Istanbul calling .Turkey was and still is one of the most unusual places I have ever been to .
My decision to visit Istanbul came close to the heels of the country undergoing a massive unrest and thus it was no surprise that I had my own share of valid trepidation. Much of my apprehensions were mitigated as I was very kindly provided a more lucid picture of the ground reality by many of my colleagues . It was comforting and exciting at the same time.
Thus I decided to embark on my very own mission Istanbul (a forgettable Bollywood movie) and added Cappadocia to the itinerary.
The key to plan before landing into Istanbul is to determine which one of the two airports (Yes ..Istanbul boasts of 2 major airports – Ataturk International on the European side and Sabiha Gokcen on the Asian side) you are using as the city bustles with 13 million and more inhabitants and planning your airport transfers in advance is a wise idea.
As I was still moulding myself into a seasoned traveler I settled in on being extravagant and booked an advance airport transfer from my hostel. (I realised it was an unncessary step on my way back as tram and metro system from and to the airport are pretty convenient.) Neverland hostel was my abode for the next few nights .
The striking points of the hostel were total absence of elevator in a tall building and refreshing smell of turkish coffee (more so because it was complimentary )! I was led to my dorm and was quickly greeted by a German traveler. After a pleasant banter comprising of our backgrounds and travel plans , he kindly invited me for a drink. Not a bad start ! I met another hostel dweller , an Austrian cyclist who travels with yeah you guessed it right ,his cycle ; and a Swiss girl who was studying in Istanbul . We formed an impromptu group and went to one of the open air pubs in Istikal Street.