Istanbul Travels Part 2: Schmoozing, Boozing, and Cruising

Phil and I experienced so much in Istanbul I couldn’t possibly write about it all. I mean, I could. It is humanly possible. Phil is going to (try). What I am saying is that I could not possibly write about it all without taking an extraordinarily long time, and so I won’t; but I will tell you about some of the things that I enjoyed while we were there.

After our whilwind first two days of rug buying and close call with religious converstion (you can read part 1 here), we met up with our friends Amanda and Rob, whom we’d met in Antalya, for dinner and drinks. We dined on pide (like sauceless pizza), vegetables, and kebabs at a tasty little restraunt Phil and I frequented several times while in Istanbul, The Three Partners Cafe (that we kept referring to as Tres Hermanos). I uncharacteristically have no photos of the food but trust me when I say we enjoyed good food, drink, and conversation. Amanda and Rob have traveled to many countries and we enjoyed listening to their travel adventures while recounting a few of our own.

After dinner we took a short cab ride to the hip Karaköy neighborhood near Galata tower that was absolutely bustling with nightlife. People were in the streets talking and laughing while music played from the bars that lined the sidewalks. We stopped at a little bar called The Tower Bar and ended up talking with a Turkish fellow named Mehmet for several hours. He had struck up a conversation with Rob about darts as we first sat down. I don’t believe anyone actually ever played a game of darts for the remainder of the night, just threw a few at the board intermittently while talking.

Galata Tower (and Amanda’s pink hair)

Mehmet was an interesting guy. He had studied in Oregon for his Ph.D and had traveled extensively. I was surprised when he asked us to guess his age and I said 36 that he responded he was in fact 26. He had a beard that perhaps covered a more yourthful looking face and had traveled more places than most 26-year-olds I know (I guess I don’t know that many 26-year-olds now that I think about it, but I once was 26). Phil later said he believed Mehmet’s age because although he was skeptical, he wasn’t yet cynical. Cynicism comes with age. And while I consider myself to be an optimist (you’re straight up delusional, Jess), I do agree with his summation.

We met up with Rob and Amanda again a couple of days later for a cruise on the Bosphorous Strait. Many local cruise operations catering to tourists offer two hour cruises from 20-30 euro. Lucky for us, Rob and Amanda had spotted one the day prior that is run by the city government for only 32TL (about $1.50)! The cruise was lovely and we had great seats on the middle level of the boat which was elevated enough to have great views but also covered to protect us from the rain and harsh sun (belileve it or not we had both on this afternoon). And we saw more dolphins than we ever expected to see. Bonus!

Phil and I visited several palaces and museums which he wrote about here and here. Below are a few of my favorite photos from the Rumeli fortress, Topkapi Palace, The Museum of the Turkish and Islamic Arts, the Naval Museum, under the Hagia Sofia, and the home of Turkish poet Tevfik Fikret called the Aşiyan Museum (that was quite a climb).

In addition to the places we visited, it was also cool just to walk around different neighborhoods and through street markets. There are so many areas and neighborhoods to explore in Istanbul, one could live there for years and still not see it all.

Probably my favorite thing we did (it’s so hard to choose!) was to visit the Prince’s Islands. We visited two islands, one each day, and here is a little taste of what those looked like.

Stay tuned!

Published by yogibarrington

American expat living in Gijon, Asturias, Spain

2 thoughts on “Istanbul Travels Part 2: Schmoozing, Boozing, and Cruising

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: