During my Eurotrip, I tried foods and drinks a lot. I wasn’t really checking fats, calories and sugar amount when eating. Thanks to cycling, running, walking and hiking, I lost one kilogram.
But this trip was different, I knew I am gonna weight but I won’t regret it. It’s the kind of weight gain that comes with mental happiness, a week or two from now one, I’ll be laying on my couch in my solitude and thinking of these time won’t remind of weight gain but of the time I had with my friends and food that we ate.
So Melih came to pick me up from my hotel and 9 or something, unfortunately Derya couldn’t join. It was raining but it was different kind of rain, not like the one in Amsterdam, it was not depressing. We went to get Börek, which are baked filled pastries made of a thin flaky dough. We got the meat, cheese and potato Böreks from a bakery that according to Melih was the best one and to which I totally agreed afterwards. Then we went to a cafe which is next to sea side. There we ordered coffee and tea and omelet with tomatoes and paprika. Following are the pictures of view we had and the food we had.
That’s what you call a breakfast. On the way back, Melih decided to have a haircut and I went with him, there was a massage chair and I decided to use that twice :D. Then I had steam massage on my face and we went to Derya’s apartment. During this driving, I felt like I was in Karachi, roads, streets, buildings, shops, everything felt like Karachi. If I were in any other city and saw so many similarities I would have been homesick but I wasn’t homesick in Istanbul, because I was home :).
There, I was welcomed again and we had Turkish coffee and chocolate coconut cake. And then Derya’s mom did some fortune-telling about me with the pattern generated by leftover coffee. Last time, Derya predicted three things out of which two and a half came to be true, so I am true believer :).
Then I heard the sound of Azaan (call to prayers), although I am not a religious person but I grew up hearing that sound so it was also a refreshing experience. Then we head outside, made a stop at courier and then went ahead. We went to a neighborhood with a lot of mosques and a bazar, here are pictures.
I was hungry again of course. We went to this cafe called “Trend 216 Cafe & Restaurant”. I ordered mint lime and steak and Melih ordered Durum. Here are the pictures of food and the view from cafe.
Then we decided to go to the European side of the Istanbul where the Sultanahmet Mosque aka The Blue Mosque is located. The whole neighborhood is full of mosques and historical places. We took the ferry to go to the area.
As we were on the other side, we bought Baklava from a sweet shop and explored a market with electronic items, camera and related stuff mainly. Then we made a stop at a park called Gulhane which is right next to Topkapi palace. It was an awesome park, with lots of flowers and green trees. We walked around and enjoyed the view and took pictures
Then we stopped at a small cafe to get some tea and enjoyed the view to sea. We also wanted to take to visit the palace itself but by the time we went there, it was closed. We went out of park to see the blue mosque. The whole square is beautiful and full of buildings and interesting things like following.
We spent quit sometime inside and then took a look around a few monument outside. Here are some pictures of Blue mosque from inside and outside and the monument,
After that, we decided to go back and eat something on the way. On the way back, I found this shop with so many colorful things and I took a few pictures.
While walking back, Melih found a place that he suggested would be good, I said ok, let’s eat that. It was like dumplings, minced meat stuffed in small pieces of bread with sauce and garlic yogurt. Here is how restaurant and food looked like
I expected it to be Western party where people get drunk and dance but it turned out to be something quite similar to what i have in my culture, we called it Mehndi. Most of the rituals and things were 100% similar to Pakistani culture. But I also saw some new and interesting things.
People were cheerful and happy and they were dancing, I also danced with them briefly. That’s the first and probably last time I danced without Vodka, so I call it Halal disco :D. Here are some pictures from the party.
After having fun, food and tea at the party, we decided to call it a night and Melih and Derya dropped me at my hotel and that marks the end of an epic day 🙂