To be content and joyous in life one should spend more on experiences than on materials and quantifiable items. That’s what most travel experiences begin thinking about – mine too. I heard somewhere that you are likely going to experience a different culture 100km away from yourself and I have noticed this time and again, the farther I go the more different people start sounding and behaving. 

I am a keen observer of people, and getting a chance to observe them in different places is a treat for me. Everywhere I go, especially if it’s beyond 100kms away from my surroundings I look for how people are different from where I come from and the differences fascinate me. 

Turkey is the first country I travelled to by choice, it was an amazing experience. In Turkey I stayed in Istanbul for 7 days and during these days I experienced some of Istanbul. I’m going to talk about this experience with the help of the 5 senses and tell you what Istanbul looks like, smells like, tastes like, sounds like and feels like.

Sights of Istanbul

The Istanbul city is dominated by three colors; Blue, Green and Red.

The first thing that I noticed when I arrived in Istanbul was the Blue sky, some of you may wonder what’s special about that? Well in Karachi, we have so much haze, we rarely get to enjoy a blue sky, every now and then when I look up at the sky I see shades of grey, brown or dirt, nothing close to blue. The sky in Istanbul was a beautiful blue.

Besides the blue sky the Golden Horn and Bosphorus Strait are a beautiful shade of blue, mostly reflecting the sky these water bodies have a shade of blue of their own that leaves you mesmerized. Bosphorus Strait is a defining feature of the Istanbul geography and makes the city a gateway- a part of the city is located in Europe and a part of it in Asia split by the Bosphorus. 

The evil eye stone has another dominating blue color you’ll find in Istanbul, you’ll see it in every souvenir shop, being sold as keychains, wall decors, and whatnot. If you travel to Turkey and don’t return with anything that has the blue evil eye stone, no one is going to believe you’ve been there. 

The city is green, it’s decorated with trees and shrubs along the streets, the hills are covered with green, you’ll begin noticing the green as you drive from the new Istanbul Airport into the city. One does expect the city to be less green but if you take a ferry ride or cruise along the golden horn you’ll see just how green the city is. 

The food in Istanbul is highlighted with a green, in the form of pistachios, the nuts you’ll experience in nearly all of theTurkish desserts. Adds charm, doesn’t it?

Red is the next visible color you’ll notice everywhere you go. The color of the flag of Turkey, the patriotic Turks have the flag hanging on buildings high and low and you’ll see this red fluttering away in the winds of Istanbul. 

The architecture of Istanbul is topped with red in most places. The rooftops of most buildings are red and that dominates your view when you want to look down at the city from the top of Galata Towers, red buildings, red boats they’re all just there to be noticed. The color screams at you in the serenity of the other two colors! 

Red is also the color very visible on Istiklal Street, it could be the flags hanging out windows or atop buildings or it could be the tram that you will not miss if you’re on the street shopping. You’ll encounter gardens with the color red as flowers, or as flags or stones. 

When coming back with sovineurs the red and blue will be highlighted on pretty much everything that you bring back.

Don’t miss to notice these colors when you’re in Istanbul or if you are already there give it a moment to see what the highlights of your scenes are. Also, continue this journey of exploring Istanbul with the 5 senses and read about the Smells of Istanbul

Share with me the colors that you noticed when you traveled.

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Written by

Asma Siddiqui

The journey is what matters, not the destination!

I'm a food fanatic, a wishful traveler, a voracious bookworm, a compulsive cat-petter, and the silliest adult in disguise. On good days, I'm outside exploring the world. On better days, I'm inside reading books and sipping on a hot beverage that looks like chai or coffee. And on the remaining days, I write about my escapades.

I'm on my way to where I need to be, loving what I love to do and being awesome all the way.