Istanbul with Friends

First Paris with my family, then Istanbul with friends. Our latest travels have been especially social – and we’ve been having a blast. Friends and Istanbul experts Özgür and Leonie went way out of their way to make sure we (and the rest of our group) got more than the typical tourist’s view of Istanbul. They showed us as well as friends Armin, Marc, Petra and Uri a few of their favorite local hangouts.

Without Leonie and Özgür, we wouldn’t have found great spots like the local produce market in Beşiktaş and the tea gardens in southern Kadıköy, where we had the pleasure of hanging out with Özgür’s cousins Oz and Bengül. They also introduced us to one of the greatest finds EVER on all of our travels, baklava with kaymak (Turkish clotted cream) at Karaköy Güllüoğlu. I can’t even contemplate a world without that baklava. I may have to move to Istanbul.

While in Istanbul, we also discovered some new friends Rebecca, Jeremiah and Betsy in one of the most coincidental encounters we’ve ever had on the road – and we’ve had A LOT!

Departing from Eminönü on a Bosphorus tour

Posing on the edge of the Black Sea at the viewpoint from Anadolu Kavağı fortress

Meeting new friends! One of the weirdest things that happened while we were in Istanbul was bumping into Rebecca, Jeremiah, and Betsy. Rebecca and Jeremiah are friends of Laurelle’s, who regular visitors will know as she is the top commenter on this blog. (Laurelle is like my sister.) Rebecca recognized us from the documentary on us, Excluded.

Luxurating in Armin’s and Marc’s apartment near Galata Tower

Relaxing in the tea gardens at Moda in southern Kadıköy

Stuffing our faces with İskender kebab in Beşiktaş

4 responses to “Istanbul with Friends”

  1. avatar laurelle says:

    Gosh, I’m chuffed to be known as “top commenter” AND sister. So glad that you connected with all these great people in Turkey. It looks like a great time was had by all. Strangely, I keep running into Methow Valley people who have either just returned from Turkey, or are planning a trip. It’s the new “hot” destination!

  2. avatar Tony says:

    Turkey is definitely one of the “hot” destinations. In 2011, it was ranked #6 on Wikipedia’s list of most visited countries in the world just ahead of the UK. Istanbul is the #5 most visited city in the world and, according to Forbes, Istanbul is the fastest growing destination in terms of ranking.

  3. avatar Cengiz says:

    Istanbul travel never finish last year I was in Istanbul for two Months after 3 years but not enough. Thanks for post.

  4. […] 2013, Thomas and I joined a group of friends from Berlin in our favorite city on the planet, Istanbul. I had been to Istanbul twice before and had seen most of the tourist attractions there, but there […]

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