Lunch is something I hardly eat … at home maybe a bowl of yoghurt with some cereals, but when I’m on vacation it’s, a MUST, but it doesn’t have to be all food. If the weather is very hot at my destination, it’s mostly about getting fluid into me.
Istanbul has so many places to choose from and they seem to eat all the time and at any time of the day.
My first day I made a visit to MADO Cafe at Istiklal Caddesi (the most famous and busiest shopping street) – their ice cream is one of the best. Was taken there the first time with my blogging sister Nia@photographyofnia when I visit Istanbul for the first time with friends in May. Very busy place both the shop and the café, but I don’t go there for their service. Every waiter looks like they want to be somewhere else and don’t really care about their guests, but the coffee and the ice cream make up for it.
Wednesday, Christmas Eve, was a fantastic spring day. Couldn’t say how warm it was, but the sun was giving it’s all. Not a cloud on the sky. So I decided to do the journey along Istiklal Caddesi on the old red tram; Nostalgic – that just makes its way through the 100.000 and 100.000 people on the street, by just ringing and ringing – strangely it works and eventually people will move out of the way. But don’t really bother with the timetable, because it comes when it comes … and sometime it doesn’t turn up at all.
At The Tünel– I took the small train down to Karaköy and the Galata Bridge. I walked along the waterfront on Rihtim Cad and watched all the fishing and the busy ferry traffic. All the restaurants were pretty busy – I choose the one with the best outdoor seating – I think the name of the place is “Namli Gida” – great concept; you help yourself to whatever you fancy, choose your main and you pay. They bring out your main when ready and also your tea or coffee.
I had some Köfte (it was 4 big ones per portion – took only 2), salad bar, sparkling water of course and their fantastic yoghurt drink, Ayran. Sat by a community table and had a nice German couple was neighbors. They had escaped Christmas too, and renting a designer apartment by the Galata Tower for 5 weeks.
Didn’t try my fishing luck – but I manage to catch one of the planes flying over us with the destination Atatürk International Airport. Oscar did a brilliant job, consider the distance the plane is.
Christmas Day, I decide that would be a day with very little walking and a lot of feeling good. So I ordered a 60 min massage at the hotel’s beautiful SPA. First, I did a bit of swimming in their pool. The massage was fantastic and just what I need, the masseur a lovely lady from Bali. She really knew her stuff.
Before I returned to my room, I sat down with some postcards in the hotel’s coffee shop; the Coffee Company. They had some fantastic pastry and cakes, but I ordered a Caesar Salad and in all honesty, I wasn’t expect it to be so good as it was, even if the dressing wasn’t right.
My last day started off with overcast – and I jumped on the little tram again down to The Tünel and I walked the small narrow street around the Galata Tower, I wasn’t even thinking about visiting the Tower and climb to the top. What I didn’t know was that there is a lift, because they have a restaurant at the top.
While walking the narrow back streets I found “Galata Konak Café”, and what a place … and what a view. When I had walked all the stairs up to the rooftop terrace (there is a lift) it had started raining, so no service outdoors.
A quite a busy lunch place …. I had a chicken wrap and cappuccino – got a wooden tray with two wraps and some lovely chips with two dipping sauces. Great atmosphere and the interior design are colorful and fun, but still very cozy. Really enjoyed my time there and so did Oscar. In May I will go back on a sunny day, because the view is just amazing.
Since then was it only rain for the rest of my stay and on my departure it was falling heavy.
“Never drink black coffee at lunch;
it will keep you awake all afternoon.