2012 — Doug and I had been in Istanbul for over a week when we realized we hadn’t even touched any of the cultural (“touristy”) sights in Istanbul. This was a travesty. Istanbul was one of the most important cultural, political, and economic centers of the Old World. We had to check some shit out.
We made our way to southern Istanbul, Old Istanbul to go to the Grand Bazaar. We checked it out, and after 5 min had pretty much seen all there was to see. Hawkers selling their wares, people yelling at you, keeping your hands in your pockets so you don’t get stripped, etc. It was aight, just a bunch of stalls with warez and white people getting ripped off.
Then, we got lost on purpose (this is one of my favorite activities). We took a side path out of the bazaar and just walked. The people faded away, the stalls faded away. It was a dilapidated shanty town with remnants of the old power… you could feel the vibes in the place. Totally Morrowind-esque. It was like getting lost in a fantasy novel.