What a start to our 9-day student exchange! After everyone met their Buddy from the respective other team on friday evening, we were ready to go and explore Istanbul. However, before we split into smaller groups to see some hidden gems of the city, the Culture team had organized some games to get to know each other better. During the game you could hear everybody laugh, because the games were not only physically or even coordinatively challenging, but also fun.
Exploring the city: Boat trips and roof top terraces
Most buddy pairs afterwards decided to go visit the European side of Istanbul, which is why a big group was heading to take a boat. Constant chatter and some Besiktas fan-songs accompanied the group and although a steady wind was going, the view from the upper deck of the boat was amazing and even the sun came out for a bit. Just as different as the people of Istkon were the plans for the afternoon. Some football fans wandered around the Besiktas district and went to see the newly built stadium right at the see front, while others visited the spice market and enjoyed discovering the colorful spices and sweets. The Galata Tower also attracted some visitors and the roof top terraces were also a priority: The views we got were amazing and the first time the German participants could really grasp a feeling for the size of Istanbul.
Of course, trying typical Turkish food was a priority and many groups enjoyed Baklava and drank Turkish coffee at Güllüoğlu, the most famous Baklava place in town. But although this sweet dessert was a real treat, we did not expect what was yet to come…
For dinner, we went to Hamdi Restaurant in Pera. On the top floor of a seven story building, this beautiful restaurant offers an amazing view over the Bosporus – and also really nice food. We were served multiple Turkish meals and you could tell from the happy looks on everyone’s faces, that after a long day of walking and experiencing new things, this tasty dinner was just what we needed.
The people who wanted to end the day with some music and dancing, went to a club in Pera afterwards. And it is safe to say, that we had a blast. Because with the best people, you are sure to have the best time!
Copyright (photos): Nodar Kontselidze