“Paris is a beautiful hall, London is a beautiful park,
Berlin is a beautiful barracks but Istanbul is a beautiful city.”
Zülfü Livaneli, Turkish novelist
My 5th visit to this magical, colorful exciting and adventure city … says it all. Normally the passport control is a manic affair whatever Istanbul airport you land on, it’s the jungle law that applies. But this time there was no one in the livestock loops. Very civilized and quick.
Also, the luggage came quickly and our lovely chauffeur Mr.Metin was there waiting for us. So a brilliant start on our 5 nights Christmas escape.
But then there is the traffic and we started our ride around 4.30pm … and it didn’t take long before we were in the middle of the rush hour traffic. The distance between Sabiha Gokcen International Airport and our apartments were 49 km/30 miles …. and it took us 2 hours. I have been to many big busy cities, but there is none that provides traffic like Istanbul does, absolutely mental and everybody honk the horn for all reasons.
We had about 2 hours to unpack and to get ready for one of the most popular restaurants in the Beyoğlu area, “Meze By Lemon Tree” where we were staying. The most trendy and upcoming areas in Istanbul … on what they call the Europian side. The restaurant was located only around the corner from our house.
Our apartments were fantastic, Chiconomy Suites at Balyoz Sok … mine was on the 6th floor, a little studio with a terrace, not mush of view, but still a terrace … but the lift only went to the 5th floor, so I had to use steep steps to get to my apartment, I was afraid it was going to be a problem … but it worked very fine and no problems even to get the luggage down on departure.
“Meze By Lemon Tree” lived up to its reputation, we enjoyed the most fantastic meatballs, that we are talking still about more or less every day. Sorry IKEA!!! – I also enjoyed a banana dessert topped with nuts, it tasted even better than it looks.
It had been a very long day, we left our beds at Quality Hotel View at Hyllie in Malmö 6am.
Hyllie is the last train stop on the Swedish side before Copenhagen airport and we had to be at the airport at 8am because Turkish airlines have very slow check-ins … with great hotel breakfast and 15 min train journey in between.
So after dinner, we just went straight back to the apartments and our inviting beds and we both fell to sleep so soon we hit the pillow.
“Sleep is the best meditation.”