Plaj!

After spending the previous day lounging around on our hostel’s rooftop bar (which, by the way, has an incredible view of Istanbul and the Sea of Marmara)

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(This is the view)

…Katherine and I rallied a few other people from our hostel to take a day trip with us. We decided to go to Kilyos, which is a beach on the Black Sea. Our hostel called a shuttle for us that would be there “in ten minutes.” Ten minutes became an hour, and our “shuttle” turned out to be a tiny car meant for a driver and four other passengers. There were five of us- Luke and Tyler, the Australians, Jaimie, the other American, Katherine, and me-, and we all hilariously piled into the car. Luke was the lucky one who sat in the front, and the rest of us had to lie all over each other in the back. We realized then just how well we would be getting to know each other…

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(This is us in the car, with our badass driver who didn’t speak a word of English.)

Anyhow, we drove for about an hour and a half, the scenery gradually changing from the hectic, busy streets of Istanbul to smaller towns and villages completely devoid of tourists. Once we reached the beach, we had to pay to get in- but it was totally worth it. It was a huge, popular beach, with perfectly clear aqua blue water, crashing waves, gorgeous cliffs, and soft sand. It was so relaxing and fun, just laying out, reading, swimming, getting to know each other, and somehow finding ourselves talking about affirmative action and feminism. After awhile, we realized that our driver had been hanging out by us the whole time! We invited him over, and he generously bought fries for all of us.

(This is us at the beach)

Later, once we were back in Istanbul, Tyler, Jaimie, Katherine, and I all went out to dinner. We were trying to find some version of authentic Turkish food in our touristy neighborhood, but out of hunger and difficulty ended up at a touristy restaurant. However, the food ended up being extremely delicious, and I had one of my best meals yet- Turkish ravioli. The four of us stayed at the restaurant for hours and hours having one of the most hilarious conversations of my life =). It was definitely one of my favorite days in Turkey.

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