If you asked me to describe İstanbul in only three words, I would say: exiting, fascinating, overwhelming.
It is not that easy to find the right adjectives because there are no words to describe the kind of special beauty this city has. This city offers you a journey full of adventures where every single day you experience something different and every new day is better than the day before. It's amazing how the city hypnotizes you and you just can't help getting addicted to it. And when this Erasmus journey is over you probably will realize right back home that you never wanted to leave this city. It's not easy to cope with the everyday life at your home country and you will probably ask yourself, “What the hell am I doing here? Why did I come back?” Once you have lived in Istanbul this city will always call you back and you will never want to leave again.
My Erasmus semester was definitely the best time of my life. I had so much fun, visited a lot of places, travelled around, met a lot of new people from all over the world and won a couple of really good friends, who always stayed in touch after I left.
I preferred to travel a lot and discover new places. I can't remember that I was on the same place two days in a row. Every day I went to a new place. And İstanbul offers to you all this. It is so huge that it can make you lose your mind. It's impossible to see every single part of İstanbul no matter how long your stay is. It is limitless. It is unbelievable and it is definitely not a city but a whole country itself. And well sometimes this big city life can be stressful and exhausting. And that's the other side of İstanbul. The never ending traffic, extremely crowded streets, full buses where you can never find a place to sit, and so and so forth… Nevertheless just a glimpse to the Bosphorus makes you forget all this.
Sometimes when the day was over and I felt upset and tired of the stress lasting on my shoulder, I took the ferry on my way back home and I realized which rehabilitating effect it had on me. When I looked outside to the sky blue sea, watched the waves dancing while the wind was blowing on my face, I felt refreshed and liberated from all the bad thoughts and concerns occupying my mind. Suddenly they were all erased, nothing was keeping my head busy, and there was just me and the sea. I loved travelling by the ferry because it filled my soul with peace. That's the magic of Istanbul, its strong power and inexplicable strange impact it has on you.
I could write endless pages about this fascinating city with its positive and negative sides but I don't know if anything would be enough to reveal its real strength. All I know is that this city catches you with its peculiar charm, from which you can hardly escape. If you have never been to Istanbul you maybe would not know what I am talking about but as soon as you go there you will understand. Istanbul is -in one word- magical.
Mutlu olmak icin gülümsemeyi bekleme, belki mutluluk gülüsünde saklidir :)
Photo Credits: Oliver Schnücker