For an overseas basketball player, having family or friends come visit is by far the best highlight. Not only do you get company for a week to or so to help from being homesick but also your visitors get a taste of the foreign life you experience everyday. So I was more than happy to have my sister, Rhema come visit me last week.
During the time she was here I happened to get a few days off. It turned out perfect because we were able to spend a few days in Istanbul and then some time in Ankara too. Unfortunately the second day she was here I sprained my ankle pretty bad in a game, so we didn’t get to everything we had planned. I was actually even on crutches the couple of days we were out exploring. Nonetheless, we still had were able to hit some good restaurants and check out a few popular destinations.
If you’ve read any of my other blogs, you should already know I love Istanbul, so it was nice that I had the chance to share it with Rhema. While there, we spent a lot of time eating. We ate at so many good restaurants. From the fancy Raffels Brunch to Chilai on Bebek and Zuma at Istinye Park, you would have no idea that we are both skinny girls from how much were eating. A majority of the food in Turkey is delicious but these places specifically are some of the best.
Beside eating we took some time to visit the famous Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia, two huge beautiful mosque’s that Istanbul is known for. The Hagia Sophia was closed, but we did get the chance to go inside the Blue Mosque. We were able to see the unique architecture and watch as some people were praying. We checked out Takim Square, a type of outdoor mall (similar to 3rd Street in Santa Monica or Las Rambles in Barcelona), and the Galata Tower, one of the oldest, tallest building in Istanbul.
In addition to sight-seeing, I took Rhema to experience a little bit of the night life and to a friend’s basketball game who plays in Turkey’s Super-league, also known as Turkey’s top basketball league. Men’s basketball is very popular here and most games have great atmospheres.
Once we got back to Ankara, we were pretty much exhausted. For the most part we ended up resting and just enjoying each other’s company. But it was so great having her come visit. I honestly wish she could have stayed even longer!