I like to think of myself as a city girl. I like the buzz of big cities, the bright lights, the throngs of people, the twinkling skyline. I like riding the underground, the subway, the metro (basically I am a massive train geek). Tokyo, Seoul, London, Hanoi…I love these kinds of hectic, frenetic places. Places where if you blink, you might miss something.
So what on earth could possess me to up sticks and go to live in a fairly remote Turkish village that is famous for…well…basically being a ghost town? Where the walk to the village takes at least 25 minutes and where I’d really need to yell for our nearest neighbour to even have a chance of hearing us?
What do you get if you cross the best bits of a gingerbread man, a shortcake biscuit, a fruitcake and a scone?
Well, if you’re me, the answer is a massive crumb based mess. If however, you happen to be a Turkish baker and not cursed with the all the baking acumen of the guy in Pudding Lane who started The Great Fire of London (my skills in this regard are more ‘burnt off’ than ‘Bake Off’) then what you get is a small lump of otherworldly deliciousness known as a kurabiye.
We are back in Turkey for the first three months of 2019 and although we are staying in the South Western region, in the ghost town of Kaya Koy, it got me thinking about what I love most about this country. And I started thinking particularly about Istanbul - my favourite city in the world.
Istanbul is a city with good food, amazing architecture, a rich history, a myriad of cultures, huge shopping bazaars, beautiful parks and a plethora of fantastic cafes and restaurants. There’s so much to see and do, you could easily spend a week or two here. But if you are short on time, here are a few of my favourite things to do in Istanbul.
Anyone that knows me knows that I love a good breakfast. If you ask me to choose between breakfast, lunch or dinner, I'd choose breakfast every time. I love restaurants that offer an all-day breakfast, because there's usually more on the breakfast menu that I want to eat. I've even been known to get excited the night before about the breakfast that I am going to have the next day.
Ah, Istanbul. One of the cities that we fell in love with on our first backpacking trip together in 2008. Once the centrepiece of Byzantine, Roman and Ottoman empires, Istanbul is a city that straddles the continents of Europe and Asia and has incredible history, art and architecture.