\dē-ˈbä-kəl, di-, -ˈba-; ÷ˈde-bə-kəl\
I guess this isn’t a tale to be too proud of but everything in hindsight is funnier than what it was at the time. That’s why it’s called an adventure.
After a long flight (my first) from Cape Town and eventually arriving in Istanbul, little did we know that finding a taxi was going to be the easiest part of our day. I gave the cab driver the address of where we were staying and we were off, however once we got to the neighbourhood of our hostel the cab driver was unable to find the actual street. Our driver stopped a few times to ask the locals for directions but to no avail, he then stopped, got out, popped open the boot and put our bags on the pavement. And then left. He just left us there on the side of the road. We did not have a clue where we were or how to get to where we needed to be and of course we did not speak Turkish. We walked around for a few minutes passing Galata Tower (which later became our landmark as we had a knack for getting lost) before stopping at a fruit seller’s shop and asking for help. The shop owner Matin who was kind enough to call the hostel for us – this was after telling us to have a seat the little table opposite the shop and offering us tea – also escorted us to the front door of what we would call home for a few days.
Once we were checked-in and had a chance to shower and freshen up it was time to explore. 2 Turkish Lira bought us a jetoon token and we took the tram from Tophane station to Sultanahamet, once there we followed the trail of bread crumbs or was it a herd of sheep (read tourists) to a beautiful mosque. Places of worship always makes me feel at peace and this mosque was no exception. After taking what felt like 100 pictures we decided it was time go and find this infamous Blue Mosque everyone says is a must see. We managed to find the Istanbul hop-on hop-off bus and decided to take the tour hoping that we would pass this mosque. 2 hours and a bus ride later we discovered that the beautiful mosque where we took 100 pictures was in fact the Blue Mosque. To say that we were embarrassed is an under statement but hey at least we did get to see it.