So my last trip that I took was to the Black Sea yesterday. If you travel one and a half hour north of Istanbul, you'll find the Black Sea. Me and my 13 roommates decided to celebrate the great weather and check out the beaches of Istanbul! Although this was clearly out of the city and through lots of forests, this village is still considered Istanbul because I was still able to use my transportation card in this area. One of my roommates knew about a beautiful, secluded beach in this little bumfucknowhere village, a.k.a. Kilyos. The weather was about 70F and the sun was shining bright. So, of course, here comes the European/North American Erasmus students to this little village beach, all wearing our bathing suits, and everyone we pass on our way to the beach clothed themselves in jeans and jackets. Tourists much? I'd say so. Apparently 70F is not considered warm for Turkey thus leading to extreme stares.( On a side note, people often stare at me because of how I dress and how I look and I thought it was because I was showing too much leg. On Friday, I asked my Turkish professor what in the world Turkish women wear in the summer and she told me that it isn't that different from America and that people stare because they think you're crazy because it is too cold. Weird. It felt like felt like 75F in the sun. No way in hell I'd be caught in jeans in that weather.
It was my first time touching the Black Sea, a sea that felt like it was probably made of ice. Upon putting my toes into the water, I felt like I was getting hypothermia after 10 seconds in the water. I guess I should have assumed when geographically looking at the countries that also border the Black Sea: Ukraine, Russia, Georgia, Bulgaria... Anyways, the surrounding area was gorgeous. We played volleyball, played with the homeless beach dog, and had a picnic. All in all, a good day with ice cold water and slight progress with my pasty whiteness.