Travel Notes – Istanbul Day 07

Saturday, January 2nd, 2016

It’s almost 3 am and I have just finished packing. I am sitting on my bed with a major separation anxiety tumbling at every corner of my heart. Tomorrow we will say so long to Istanbul and leave behind all the lovely new places and faces that have touched our hearts over the past 10 days.

We didn’t really do much today. The Cappadocia gang were all in Istanbul by now and we had promised to meet up at the Grand Bazaar this morning. By 11 everyone had arrived and we hurried inside and sat down at one of the coffee shops and just started chatting away. Around 12, my friend the rug collector joined us and since the Cappadocia gang were really taken by the photos and videos I showed them of my kilim being repaired, my friend kindly offered if they would like to go see for themselves. They all said yes so off we went to that small attic in Cemberlitas. After a brief 20 minutes, we all parted ways except me and one of the girls. Both of us are scheduled to leave tomorrow so we went to do a mad shopping rush at the Spice Bazaar and bought our boxes of Turkish delight, spices & herbs and all sorts of other stuff to bring back home. Before leaving, we all promised to meet up again around 8 at Taksim for our farewell dinner.

Tired, cold and wet, at 6 we walked back to my hotel and snuggled on the bed with a mug of hot tea. Around 7 we jumped into a cab and headed for Bebek. The kids played with the snow while my new friend and I discussed a plan to go travelling together. She’s a solo traveller from NYC and over the short span of 3 days in Cappadocia, we, along with the other girl, had bonded like we’ve been best mates all our lives. And all simply because we happened to stay at the same hotel and had got chatting in the breakfast room one morning.

We made our way to Taksim at 8 and had such a blast. My dear friend the kilim collector had also decided to join us to add more to the fun. You can never go wrong with good food and good company, no matter where you are in the world. We said our goodbyes around 11 and this time our embraces were a little longer and instead of promises to meet in Istanbul, our eyes became watery because we will all soon leave this amazing country and head back to wherever home is for each of us. These lovely new people in our lives have become so dear to us over the span of 10 days and I just hope we have somewhat touched their lives the way they have touched ours.

We came to Istanbul for some sweater weather and we are going home with 3 suitcases of memories and over 2,000 photos & videos while leaving behind a few precious souls whom we now call “friends”.

I am off to bed now and will save my goodbyes for tomorrow. I want to savour whatever time I have left in this city by thinking that we are all still sleeping under the same lovely sky that is Istanbul. At least for one more night.

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