Less than 48 hours ago I had to say ciao to the beautiful city of Roma. The five weeks I spent there were some of the best in my life (except for the inconsistency of public transit.) I loved having the opportunity to see all of the sights and eat my fair share of pizza and pasta. My favorite thing to see was the Trevi fountain at night. Unfortunately I waited until the last night to see it, but I DID toss a coin into it. The original legend says that if you throw a coin into the Trevi – with your back to the fountain, throwing the coin with your right hand over your left shoulder – that will ensure a return to Rome. I really hope that this comes to be true! Having such a positive experience there made me sad and nervous to leave for Istanbul. Roma lived up to every expectation I had, however all I really knew about Istanbul was that it is filled with millions of people. When we flew into the airport, all you could see below you were lights spreading out all around. We then piled all ourselves and luggage into two vans and headed to our apartments. The lights continued the entire way there, brighter and more vibrant than I’ve ever see. I needed the night to get settled in, eat some baklava, and relax. This morning Ozayr took us around and showed us how to navigate the city. After seeing it during the day with some help, I am starting to feel less intimidated by the city and am excited to see what Istanbul has to offer! Eating my first simit. A view from my first boat ride to Asia!