Istanbul. Three days are too little to get to know it. Three phrases are too little to describe it.
Yet, you can see its spark while walking through the beautiful plane-tree streets, passing by the most glorious palaces surrounded by restaurants and coffee shops (around 14.000!!! on tripadvisor.com only). You can feel its beat. Because it is a beat out there and you can sense that something’s going on somewhere for sure. Something’s cooking somewhere (be back to cooking later. Jesus!). And then there’s the sound of the prayers coming from the mosques that you can hear all over the city for five times throughout the day, everyday. Catch the vibe! There or, sooner yet, here.
So we are excited and anxious to see the city, still the waking up at 4 a.m. keep us in the hotel for breakfast. Ah! The hotel breakfasts are just perfect. And so was this one. Good food, sunshine on our faces and a nice view.
The walk between the beautiful trees takes us to the boat ride.
The Bosphorus, the world’s narrowest strait, is our first encounter with the city and it is the exact balance (literally) we need for the moment. We took the red tour and we found ourselves between Europe and Asia right away. Istanbul is the only city in the world divided between 2 continents and the rest is, well, visual.
We get off right in the university area and though the vibe is crazy, we still manage to walk again between the trees (and the traffic). This is how we get to The House, a cozy, cool restaurant where we enjoy a glass of wine. That’s it, ’cause you have to see why.
Now I told you about the latter part. Well, this part is all about the food. Extremely good food. Because when in Istanbul you must go to Ali Ocakbasi. And you eat there. After you almost starved the whole day, ’cause you need to be prepared for what’s to come. Because it keeps on coming. The food.
We just set. Our Turkish friend was just beginning to tell us how this place is where they celebrate anniversaries and stuff (so this is why the mood there is so celebrating and full of life). Nothing comparing, though, to their delicious cuisine here. And I am all about celebrating, in general. So we just sit and tadaaa! Three waiters carrying a huge tray with food salute us. I wish I would have had the time to take a pic, but everything happened so fast. This is what I got. Because the whole night was all about enjoying. And endorphins. Of all kinds.
And just when it couldn’t get any better, the desert came. I usually can not eat the desert right after dinner. But Matei told me: “Trust me, you have to!”. He was right. The Kunefe (in the middle) was beyond delicious! I also tried it in another place but still here, at Ali Ocakbasi, it was the best!
Felt like walking on sunshine afterwards.
Written by Cristina Pavelescu