A day in Istanbul

Returning to Istanbul was a last minute addition to our itinerary.  After all, this trip is really about seeing new places and we had just spent 9 months in Istanbul.  But when I found a cheap flight from Rome, we couldn’t resist the opportunity to see old friends and well, eat lots of good food.  We spent the weekend with our friends Nazli and John who live on the Asian side of Istanbul in a beautiful apartment that certainly doesn’t feel like it is in a city of 18 million people.  We had a great weekend, and a particularly great day on Saturday.

Here’s a quick recap: 

We woke up early and had breakfast of fresh squeezed pomegranite and orange juice and simit (roughly $2) before catching a ferry to Europe where we indulged in some baklava at the famous Gulluoglu bakery prior to 11AM–hey, we had limited time.   From there we took Tunel, the 3rd oldest underground in the world to the main pedestrian thoroughfare of Istikal Caddesi where we ate lunch at our favorite restaurant, dubbed the vegetarian shoe place.  We found this restaurant (located in a back alley with only a picture of shoes as signage–they aren’t really looking for new customers) through a friend and probably went at least once a week towards the end of our time in Istanbul.  There are about 5 tables, a dumb waiter and a piece of paper that changes daily from which to choose your food.  Everything is homemade, and everything delicious. 

Istiklal Caddesi eventually connects with our old neighborhoods where we visited the bakers, dropped by the wine shop, and had tea for about an hour with the jewellers we had become friendly with last year.  We even saw our favorite stray dog.  I think that is the thing I miss most about Turkey–the friendliness of the people and the ability to walk out of my apartment and get everything I could possibly need.   Eventually we ferried back to Asia, but not before taking the brand new funicular transport  to meet another friend at a ‘coffee world,’ a cafe in which drinks are served with chocolate spoons and waiters walk around with free truffles.  Dinner (back in Asia) was manti, a sort of Turkish ravioli with yogurt and garlic and dessert kunefe, a shredded filodough with sweet cheese and syrup.

As you can see, we ate well and it was a day that reminded me that I had lived here for nine months, and why I was so happy to return.  

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3 Responses to “A day in Istanbul”

  1. Joan and Ed Says:

    This entry reminds us of how much fun we had with you as our tour guide in Istanbul! We recognize lots of the places you mentioned and enjoyed sharing with you vicariously. Keep the blogs coming!

  2. Jinnyn Jacob Says:

    Hey cutie,
    Wow it is funny to think about what we would do if we only had a few moments to return to Istanbul. Kahve Dunyasi would be tops on the list. I miss you guys SO much and am really excited about your global adventure.
    Hugs and Kisses!
    Jinnyn

  3. Mike Nicholson Says:

    I still never got to go to Kahve Dunyasi. Oh well, all the more reason to go back to Istanbul. Hope you’re having a great time.

    Mike

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