Going from serene, respectful, clean and dignified Edinburgh to colorful and chaotic Istanbul has been a bit of a shock for the senses and for the lungs. Ohhh… so much smoke!
And yet, it was amazing to be in this exotic land with Lynsey. She was there at the Istanbul airport to greet me.
My first adventure was riding a bus during rush hour and then walking the busy streets full of food and smells and color and vibrant life, until we reached Lynsey’s apartment located in Cihangir, a tony Istanbul neighborhood.
We dropped my bags and went off to eat at Privado Café, a small authentic Turkish restaurant where the meal began with superb lentil soup and included a Meda platter, Moussaka and a delicious Georgian red wine.
Day One in Istanbul
Of course we began our first day with a traditional Turkish breakfast including Menemen, topped it off with fresh juice (pomegranate, blood oranges, fresh lemons) from Lynsey’s favorite street vendor, and then Lynsey and I went for a walk on the Bosphorus, where we hopped on a ferry to the Asian side of Istanbul to be met by one of Lynsey’s new friends for a traditional “Donner” lunch of beef kabobs with pita, cucumbers, onions, peppers, ripe tomatoes and yoghurt that tastes like clouds.
It was a day that ended with a glass of Raki at sunset, awaiting the ferry back to the European side of Istanbul. Thank you Chala for your gracious hospitality!