It’s not my first-time ‘affair’ with Istanbul but it doesn’t stop me from being mesmerized with this city. Istanbul is hip and happening much more than any other city I know.
Istanbul is spanning two continents of Europe and Asia. Enough historical sites to keep any person busy for several lifetimes.
And another few to visit all the trendy restaurants, bars and clubs. Not mentioning all the trendy art galleries and chic shopping.
Energy and creative spirit are palpable here.
It’s historic, modern and traditional. Istanbul is many cities in one. Appreciation of the past and a willingness to forge the old with the new are its two greatest assets.
Yaşam sevinci. A ’Turkish joie de vivre’ is infectious if not epidemic. Doesn’t matter how hard you will try to resist. It will get you. I’m all lovey-dovey for this unique place between Black and Marmara Seas.
I’m coming here to just sit at the sidewalk cafes and sip Turkish coffee or czaj. To escape to the Princes Islands which offer a glimpse of the old ethnic mix of Istanbul. In all its splendour. Where Greeks, Armenians and Jews still rub shoulders with Turks in the local squares.
To dine on savoury Turkish cuisine in excellent restaurants. Is far cry from greasy kebabs that are offered abroad. More of a mix of culinary influences. To consume traditional fish sandwich and eat amazing ice creams from Maras. Take a walking food tour in Istanbul to experience it all.
It’s like living a dream. And this time I had a nice one. I had a vision of taking off on the boat to cruise over wonderful shores of Bosphorus. Sipping a perfectly chilled cocktail while watching Galata Tower. Admiring bird’s eye view of the Golden Horn, Dolmabahce Palace and Ortakoy Mosque.
Admiring Bosphorus Bridge. I never can take my eyes off it. It’s no wonder why! Delicate architecture makes it look like an embracing pearl.
Making a stop in Rumeli Kavagi which is a rather cute and peaceful neighbourhood. With two storey houses, cobblestones pavements and some of the best fish and seafood restaurants in town. Overlooking magnificent scenery of Anadolu Kavagi.
Then hedonistically indulging in being a scrape, knead and pummel as you lie on a steamy slab of marble in the outstanding Cagaloglu Hammam.
Just before waking up in Topaz restaurants. It is my favourite one in Istanbul. Thanks to it’s extraordinary Ottoman cuisine. Exquisite gourmet cooking. Hypnotizing view of the Bosphorus and finest hospitality.
Then fabulously dancing the night away in Anjelique, Sortie or Reina.
I’m usually a bit blue on my departure but I know I will be back to this vibrant, cosmopolitan and highly addictive city sooner than later.