Walks in Istanbul
The incessant noise and uproar, the speech of the multilingual crowd, the shouts of barkers in the shops and the sharp horns of car horns did not allow one to relax for a minute. The city was seething day and night. Amidst this seething bustle, thousands of cats and cats that calmly slept on window sills, hoods, tables in cafes and often just on the road were the salt of this city, which already lacks spices. We walked along the Galata Bridge among dozens of fishermen, and boarded the ferry that was about to leave. Seagulls circled over our heads, cutting the sky over the Bosporus with their cries and diving into the water for fish, and to the singing of the muezzin, the sun illuminated the old tiled roofs with its last rays. In just ten minutes, the ferry magically took us from continent to continent, from Europe to Asia. It was Istanbul.
The doors in the houses of Istanbul deserve special mention. Forged lattices, intricate carvings, ivy-covered doors, painted house number plates, dolls and other decorations… In almost every house, the door was preserved in the way it seems to have been originally, and this very well complemented the overall picture of architecture and cities. This shows the attitude of people towards their homes and the fact that they really appreciate and respect this historical heritage.
Istanbul is the city of a thousand cats. They are loved here and the locals make street houses for them, feed them and take care of them. I have never seen so many cats and cats in any city, they are here literally at every step. Most of them, unlike street cats in our cities, are not at all afraid of people, they can be stroked and it is clear that they like it. They say that the real rulers of Istanbul are cats, and looking at their contented and shiny muzzles, when they stretch in the sun at the height of the day, I cannot but agree with this)
For local flavor, head to Balat. This is the old Jewish quarter in Istanbul. Lots of multi-colored wooden and brick houses, street art on every second wall, streets with coffee houses and handmade shops that adjoin streets hung with washed linen and barefoot children playing ball. Here you can feel the spirit of the city, and the place is really very different from the touristy Sultanahmet. But heading to Balat, remember that this is a poor area and next to a couple of tourist streets, real Istanbul awaits you, which is sometimes not always hospitable. So plan your daytime outing and leave your diamond necklace in the hotel safe 🙂
In fact, the main attraction of Istanbul is not the majestic mosques and the Bosphorus, but the most ordinary Turkish tea. Not a single morning among the locals can do without it, and walking along the streets of the city you will everywhere hear the sound of teaspoons in these beautiful tulip-like glasses. To visit Istanbul and not drink Turkish tea is simply unforgivable, although the tea itself, to be honest, is not for everybody. It is very strong and tart, and if a Turk puts sugar in it, then there will also be sugar over the edge. It’s a good idea to have a small tea party when you take the ferry from one part of the city to another, it costs only 3 lira there. But, to be honest, I didn’t like Turkish tea at all) It’s too strong)
Note to sweet tooth: the best baklava in Karaköy Güllüoğlu at the Karaköy pier. Checked 😉
For Turkish coffee, head to Velvet Cafe. It is in Balata and not far from the Galata Tower. Don’t forget to choose the right mug for you. Ask the waiter about it and you will understand what I mean 😉 For desserts, be sure to try Halva, and the orange cake is very good.
In the Kadıköy area, there is an excellent Beyaz Fırın patisserie. It is unlikely that you will be able to sit there, there are only a few tables on the street, but it’s worth taking a couple of cakes and a chocolate croissant with you)
For a sunset view, head to Grace Roof Top Restaurant. Do not forget to book a table with carpets on the rooftop, it is popular and it is worth going to this restaurant just for it.