Our passion for travel and all things magical took us to Istanbul this Spring! "Wow" was our permanent expression and still is about this city and Country. Where Europe meets Asia, where tourists learn, feel and are engulfed in the rich history this city has to offer...there is much more to this city that meets the eye.
Apart from the ease and access of public transportation, we enjoyed the love of nature, hospitality, amazing food (and sweets!), and of course its people. There's a massive mix in personal style in Istanbul- from the hipsters, to the refined and classy in suits and dresses, from silk pashminas and fur coats to street chic and urban cool that its citizens are, Istanbul is truly rich in many aspects. We enjoyed a little over a week of indulging in all types of foods from traditional Simit to countless turkish coffee chill moments, to the best shawarma in town (in my opinion) credit goes to my man on the hill in Karakoy around the block from Galata Tower, we enjoyed it all.
We explored and walked Taksim Square which met the ever famous Istiklal Street aka the sea of people along with a cable car, live entertainment, countless alleyways with surprises and new adventures to be seen and lived, every neighborhood offered something different.
Karakoy- where we stayed. Central location, easy access to public transportation and walking distance to everything. Up a hill to Taksim, to the West and across the bridge to SultanAhmet or to the East to Ortakoy everything at your fingertips.
Takism- home of infamous street, square and an all inclusive shopping haven. Shop, sip on tea or coffee overlooking Istiklal Street, sit at a hilltop cafe to watch unforgettable Istanbul sunsets. Eat, drink, shop, people watch, live entertainment, gain those well deserved kilos indulging in sweets heaven...heck, why not?! We only live once, right?
Ortakoy- heavenly colonial neighborhood with the biggest portions of food in town! Watch ferry's park and depart the ports, take a stroll in the many parks and sun bathe in the plush green lawns alongside spring blooms, feel the sea breeze caress ever so gently the surface of your skin as you gaze to hill top homes across the banks.
Between Ortakoy and Karakoy, the University district- enjoy the cheapest and freshest variations of fresh juices, the hustle and bustle of students/tourists/and locals. Walk alongside stone walls on one side and the sea on the other, pass luxury hotels and military schools, and universities. Alive is an understatement between these two areas.
We also visited Princesses Islands and Bursa. In the islands we enjoyed horse and carriage rides and in Bursa we took a ride on the longest Telefrik in the world, top of the hill was nothing short of freezing. I've been in Toronto in January, it was colder than that...you can only imagine.
So back to where I mentioned about style. We observed jewelry ranged from sterling silver, gold, natural stones, handmade goods, and statement pieces. A strong mix of traditional and new world, classic/modern/chic meets pieces of eccentricity- just like this city, a magical mix.