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Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Return to Istanbul

Midi and I were returning to Istanbul, we had
both been here a few times though never together.
I  was so excited to introduce my kids to this vibrant
 city for the first time.  When you exit the metro from
the airport at Aksaray, you are nearly blown over by the
fact that you are in a new and different place.  The flags
and banners are waving, the warm air smacks your face,
the foreign music that is blasted from speakers is so 
unusual, the delicious aromas from the food vendors
on the street, it is all a reminder of being in a faraway
land and you are still in Europe, at least in this part of
the city.

We took a short rest and freshened up and then it
was time to get out on the streets, we would only
be here for a short time and we had a lot to see.
We took the tram down Divan Yolu to the
 Sultanamhet district and walked around a bit to
see the Hagia Sofia...

...and the Blue Mosque.

Then we took a short stroll up Yerebatan to 
find one of my favorite little restaurants in
Istanbul.  I told the man at the door that I
had been there a few times before but it was the
first time for my family.  He asked if I had ever 
been to the roof garden ~ well, no,  hadn't.

And he led us up a winding stairway to this
funky, folky roof garden painted like a gypsy
caravan.  I could move in!  

We were only here for drinks and an appetizer
since we had so little time and so many places 
we wanted to go.  The appetizer was a fabulous
cheese plate with cheeses and turkish cucumbers
and tomatoes and dried fruits and nuts.  It was
delicious!  We watched the sky turn dark blue as
the sun set and then it was time to move on to 
our next stop.

On my very first night in Istanbul I passed this 
restaurant and said I wanted to eat here and I
had never gotten around to it.   So tonight was
a first for me too.

In this type of restaurant the food is already
prepared and you point to what you want.
Honestly, the salad plate had filled us up so we 
just shared one plate between the four of us.  

Since it was such a lovely night we decided
to eat outside, there are tables set up along
the side street.  This is a great spot for people
watching as it is in the historic district and it
is always crowded.  After dinner we were 
exhausted so we jammed ourselves into the 
packed metro and headed home to sleep.

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