Finally! After severely underestimating the amount of photos I took in Istanbul (and
Pamukkale), I now have something to show for it. Can you really blame me that every seaside walk provided the most beautiful views I’ve ever seen or the best [wrap, meatball, pudding, etc.] I’ve ever tasted? Okay, so maybe not everything was 100% superlative, but the whole Turkish thing added a few points to the grading curve.
And without further ado,
One overnight bus later…Pamukkale.
Nope, not ice! Just a white stone mountain with a constant stream of mineral water and sparkling pools. Also known as the warmest we would be the whole time in Turkey.
This is real. And we swam in it.
Another overnight bus later…we made it! Considering our complete disorientation and lack of Turkish this is a miracle in and of itself.
Our first cafe complete with hot Turkish tea and jazz. Both hugely popular in Istanbul it turns out.
Oh you know…just a jaunt along the Bosphorous fishing villages.
Drinking like the locals. Raki, liquid (alcoholic) licorice.
Started our ‘Old City’ day with the view from the Sultans’ Palace.
Inside the Hagia Sophia, my favorite of the Old City.
Sultanahmet, aka the ‘Blue’ Mosque.
A look back…the path between Hagia Sophia and Sultanahmet.
Fresh-squeezed pomegranate juice street-side. Cheers.
The locals literally line the street for this Turkish coffee shop. Souvenirs? Check.
Nobody does brunching like Turkey. Plate after plate of delicious dips, fruit, cheese and bread with – what else? – cup after cup of hot tea.
Holy Coffee – Home to Berk, Turkish hipster/drummer for SXSW bands, and traditional Turkish drink, Salep. Not only did they buy the ingredients fresh for us, Berk invited us to a coffeeshop dance party and brought us along to a Turkish “home party.”
Taking a break from vintage shopping to appreciate the architecture…one of far too many photos.
Welcome to our day of epic eating. Best of the best? This spicy meat wrap, courtesy of this guy.
Finding our way to “hipster bar” Peyote for some live music and dancing. “You’re going to a-love this place” – our friend Berk.
The top of Galata Tower…Hello, Istanbul.
Istanbul has islands, who knew? Enjoying a ferry on our way.
Dodging sea gulls on the boat.
Checking out the fish market before awkwardly crashing a way too nice restaurant just for their special fish soup. Worth it.
We found the best Turkish coffee in Istanbul, a little hideaway in an alley. Still not sure if you’re supposed to drink the grounds in the cup…
Goodbye for now, Istanbul! You were all I had hoped, and I would love to return.