My favorite things about Istanbul
My purpose for coming to Turkey was to experience life here and to explore. I've been here ten months and I have a lot of free time. I like to hop on the metro from Kozyatagi to Kadikoy and shop for trinkets before getting on the ferry. Sometimes I sample street food such as soggy hamburgers or borek. I use my Iphone camera to take shots of old buildings. Next, I enjoy a lovely ferry ride and I always order chai. Depending on my mood, I chose either the right or left side of the boat. I like I prefer the right side because I like views of the inner strait. If I have ample time, I explore the Eminnounu area. There are some kick ass imitation bag shops behind the new mosque. I like wandering around in the Ottoman hotel, which was a school and before that a hospital. I gaze at the old paintings in the lobby. There are a lot of Turkish delight shops on this street, so you can enjoy the free samples. I walk up to the Sultanamet and explore all of the side streets. I chat with different shop owners. I also do the same at the Grand Bazaar. There is a nice bookstore between the Grand Bazaar and the Blue Mosque that has great books about Turkish history. There is also an antique shop, which hands out poetry samples from well known poets. Be warned though, the translation will make you laugh so hard! When I am hungry, I stop for falafel and hummus across the street or just plunk down at any lively street café. If I want to explore some more, I get on the trolly and go past the old walls. Sometimes I sit under a blanket at the Dervish Café and listen to the traditional music and dervish dance while smoking nargilla (water pipe). It is so relaxing! I have a lovely collection of photos of the different facets of Istanbul that no one really sees, but it shows the character of the city. Have fun exploring!