December in Istanbul is beautiful. Everyone is cozied up in big dark jackets, tucked in scarves, baggy hats and gloves. They walk… but not too fast. Not New York City fast. The cool air welcomes deep sleep and long lazy mornings (for a tourist).

Breakfast of cucumbers, Labne, tomatoes, feta, and cay at a corner shop.

The first few nights we stayed by Galata tower, a great location to wander. We walked all over, up to Taksim and up the water. We watched the fishermen and drank fresh squeezed pomegranate juice. We practiced and practiced and practiced our ‘Tessekur ederum”.

Lots of incredible food. Mantis, Kofte, Doner, Durum, Kepab, Baklava, grape leaves, on and on.

We explored the turkish hamam. A little pricey but a great and unique experience. Entering the hamam that was built in 1550, we are greeted by a man and shown to a dressing room with clothes to change into. We are given wooden (and dangerous) clogs and shown to the large, open, hot room. There is a huge marble slab in the middle of the room, where we lay and sweat for about 40 minutes before we are introduced to the masseuses who walk us to the corners of the room and pour cool water over our heads (thank god). We lay on yet another marble slab and get quick massages and a soapy wash before we return to the central slab and finally relax outside with apple tea (which tastes like hot apple juice).

The last few nights, we’ve been staying on the Asian side, in Kadikoy. Cute bars, fun night life, and beautiful streets of daily life.

I’m really enjoying Istanbul. Beautiful and delicious!

Tomorrow, we move to the Old City for the final few days, then Berlin for me (Amsterdam for Donnie) and home for Christmas!

istanbul_man kadikoy_birds kadikoy_street sunset_kadikoy

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