Living In Istanbul

August 2012 – July 2013

Archive for the category “Food”

Istanbul in the Wintertime

Since there are less tourists in the wintertime, it’s a great time to view the sites. I’ve had coffee near the Galata tower, explored Ayasofya (Hagia Sophia) and the Basilica Cistern, sat and sketched the Rumeli Fortress, cooked delicious food at a Turkish cooking class, and still had time to karaoke with friends. The Basilica Cistern is at the top of my list of favorite tourist places– it’s a must-see if you come to Istanbul! As far as relaxing goes, I really enjoyed the few times I’ve been to the Bebek area where the Rumeli Fortress and Sakıp Sabancı Museum is located.

I’m going to keep trying to check experiences off my daydream list!

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Christmastime in Istanbul and Plovdiv, Bulgaria

Christmas was busy with friends, good food and new sites. Went to the lively holiday work party with other teacher friends and then escaped from Turkey for four days to visit Plovdiv, Bulgaria! Jonathan, Euan, Brooke, and I had an amazing time relaxing in the old town, drinking our fair share of mulled wine, shopping and enjoying Christmas tunes. The serenity of Plovdiv was certainly a refreshing break from Istanbul and I’d jump at the opportunity to go back.

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I can make Turkish coffee :)

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The Turkish Kindergarten teachers I work with are so incredibly sweet… One teacher, Sevgi (which means “love” in Turkish), bought me a Turkish coffee dish set and freshly ground coffee! So I went to a local store to buy a cezve in order to make Turkish coffee. Thankfully, the internet helped me out with directions:

The coffee turned out pretty good! The only thing that was missing was a little sweet treat.


Yoros Castle

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My roommate Dilek recommended that Brooke and I visit Anadolu Kavağı for it’s beauty, food, and exploration of Yoros Castle. I’ve visited a few great places around Istanbul and this might be my new favorite place to escape the busy city of Istanbul! We hoped off the ferry around 12:30 and headed for seafood at a restaurant with a patio next to the water. The different types of fish were on a display tray and I decided on the Bonito fish- caught in the Bosphorus. It was very tender with a few spices; I definitely want to start buying fish to cook at home.

After lunch, Brooke and I hiked up the hill, led by signs labeled “Kalesi”. Since tourism is a major industry of this town, we were walking up the stairs through cafes and restaurants most of the way. When we were close to the castle, we did see a guy blowing glass in a stand next to the path and I had to buy his beautiful evil eye earrings. The evil eye is prominent in Turkish culture and I decided I need these earrings to protect me because every day at least one Kindergartener sends negative vibes my way.

The view from the castle was absolutely amazing. And I just kept thinking about how many cultures had occupied the fortress since it was built during the Byzantine empire. SO MANY people have stared/thought/dreamt/inhaled fresh air, right where I stood- very cool.

Heybeliada Island in the Sea of Marmara

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I absolutely loved Heybeliada Island last weekend. It was so relaxing and the water was as refreshing as Lake Michigan on a summer day. Jonathan and I joined other K-12 English teachers at the ferry port and we all rented bikes to get around– there are only emergency vehicles on the island and squeezing 9 people into a romantic horse drawn carriage wasn’t an appealing option. We told the bike shop man that we wanted to go to the plaj (beach) and he pointed the way. After we inquired about directions with someone else, we were headed to what this guy called, “the secret beach”! We found this secluded beach after a few miles of biking up hill, carefully guiding our bikes down a pine needle- ridden trail, and several concrete/seashell steps. It was definitely a worthwhile adventure. There was no one there when we arrived around 11:30am and nothing sounded better than a dip in the sea.

There were two guys who ran the place and they provided beverages and a few food items for guests. I actually saw the guys catching and cleaning oysters from the sea– so naturally we had to try them from the menu. It was a memorable spot and I’d really like to return before the cold weather sets in.

My first time in Asia


On the ferry from Beşiktaş to Kadıköy!

Istanbul is the only city that covers two continents: Europe and Asia. The city was first connected by the Bosphorus Bridge in 1973.

There are a few ways for me to get from my neighborhood in Şişli to the Asian side of Istanbul. I’m still trying to figure out how to travel around the city because of its extremely large size and several transportation methods. When my roommate Brooke and I went to the popular Kadıköy pazar (market) this past Tuesday, we found it best to take a combination of the metro train and dolmus (minibus) to the Beşiktaş seaport, jump on a ferry to Kadıköy, and walk or taxi to the pazar. Yes, it may sound simple, but when I say we “found it best” I mean we had to get lost several times to figure out the easiest path! There was plenty of fresh fruit, vegetables, clothing and household items. Brooke and I bought fresh vegetables for a dinner salad and we certainly didn’t forget olives!

I’m excited to visit other markets around town, especially the one in my neighborhood. Here is an article in the Guardian about the 10 best markets in Istanbul.

Kadıköy pazar:


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