In June 2009, Istanbul (Turkey) felt like the best place ever for my birthday week. A keen boyfriend, mellow sunshine, cozy evening breeze, sparkling blue sea, delicious bread, amazing heritage, old world inspired sartorial sensibilities and just the right amount of friendly, I couldn’t have asked for more. I know you’re wondering what’s bread doing on that list. I am a picky traveler (vegetarian at that) and bread, for me, is one of the most important criteria for rating a place, restaurants and cities. Istanbul impressed me with great bread, culture, tea, architecture, wine and more.
I can’t even begin to tell you how simple yet delicious her rolls with freshly made bread, local cheese and spinach were.
We did the usual touristy things like enjoying the Bosphorus Cruise and visiting the gorgeous Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, Basilica Cistern, Galata Tower etc. Seeped in history, each one of these landmarks had a story to tell but what I really loved was long walks around the stoned by-lanes bustling with people dressed in what looked like a simmering fusion of romantic vintage and slick modern.
Obelisk of Theodosius at the Hippodrome square (also called Atmeydanı in Turkish).
Blue Mosque is a piece of art. The main dome adorned with minarets and the beautiful stained glass windows and İznik tiles paint a pretty picture.
Pretty streets of Istanbul.
I love visiting cities where even the smallest things are well designed. This golden foot rest didn’t come out of necessity, it’s come from the love for what his work.
Gotta love these stickers inside Instabul BRT metro.
I couldn’t believe that they still have wooden trams running (very very slowly) in certain areas. It was an experience to hop on it.
The Bosphorus during the sunset. Breathtaking!
Sun-downers took a whole new meaning in those cafes and restaurants overlooking the Bosporus, offering fresh local cuisine, tea and wine. The last evening in the city was also my birthday. We went to a highly recommended restaurant called 360. It overlooked the city and at night it looked like we were in the company of a zillion twinkling stars. While sipping on good ol Veuve, Mr. Naidu popped ‘the’ question. 6 months later we became Mr and Mrs Naidu!
Since Istanbul, I have been to many cities in different countries and no matter how exotic they were, they couldn’t manage to replace my love for Istanbul. I would love to go back to see all the places I missed due to lack of time and just soak in some more of Istanbul. I am totally up for some more Turkish delight. Amen.
Oh, the charming oldies! :)
*All pictures are my own. If you intend to use any of them, please drop me an email.