Istanbul is a city of marvels. Trying to find everything to see in this city is an impossibility. Despite being obvious, the attractions of sultanahmet, ayasofia, basilica cistern are still majestic, memorable and remarkable locations, but there is so much more. Thankfully, i have been introduced to such gems as Kariye museum, Küçüksu pavilion, Yoros castle, and Yildiz park. In different ways, all very photogenic locations. And the journeys to these locations are also integral to my memories. I can’t forget meandering dolmuş journeys through nişantaşı backstreets, misty yeniköy ferry crossings, an icy cold boat trip to princes islands and the twilight return revealing istanbul’s streetlight silhouette from the sea. Memorable.
Another aspect of my trips with Nihan is the culinary experience. The tasty treasures of nar restaurant, fresh fish (palamut) at Yoros with the bosphorus lapping at our at our feet, being introduced to figs straight off the tree. Anatolian cuisine at çiya restaurant, ekmek teknesi and a small tradesmen’s restaurant in the banking district which i never would have gone to without nihan’s intimate knowledge of the city. Istanbul has become a place that i know well, but without Nihan, only the obvious would have been known to me. I feel more attuned to the way istanbul works, its people and culture through Nihan’s personal guidance through its delightful nooks and crannies.
photo credit: John Howitt/ Rumeli Hisarı fortress