Reagan. Anal. What more is there….?Read More
Things I loved here....
- The Grande Hotel de Londres - Amazing place, loaded with history and a great crowd in the lobby. Wireless access, central location, strong tea, great decor and wonderful staff. (And they have great new carpeting in the lobby.) Hemmingway stayed here, so should you.
- Beyoğlu - This is the neighborhood where it all happens. Amazing food and the nightlife is endless. Everyone from beautiful people to bohemians is in the neighborhood and on the streets around Istiklal Caddesi (especially in the Asmalımescit area). Everything to do with art, style, fashion, and food can be found here in the area between Tunel Station and Taksim Square. Galatasaray has the championship football team.
- Kepabs at Beyoğlu Köftecisi - The language barrier cannot survive when there is food this good and so inexpensive.
- Hagia Sophia - In the morning light sublime, in the evening light, unforgettable. Go early and go often. Tourists are too shy to go up to the best parts. Even with scaffolding in place the dome is a wonder to behold.
- Kariye Museum - This is a must see. Preserved mosiacs, restored frescoes, and porphyry walls make this an unexpected feast for the eyes. Go on a Thursday when it is less crowded. I had the entire museum to myself.
- Rustempasha Mosque - For me, the most beautiful of Sinan's creations. The tile ornament is dizzying in its complexity. The domed space is vast and airy but the space is intimate. It is a masterpiece of installation.
- The Museum of Turkish and Islamic Art - This is also referred to as the Carpet Museum. Nothing can prepare you for it. The scale and execution of the materials in this place are mind boggling. You completely understand why people wrote stories about flying carpets. These things are so magical they could be lighter than air.
- Fish sandwiches on the Bosphorus - You get off the train and there is a guy on a boat with a grill. He tells you that a sandwich is 3YTL. You have one and it is so fresh and so sweet and so good that you walk over the bridge from Galata every day to have one. You are never disappointed.
- Konak Restaurant in Tunel Square - There is another location closer to Taksim but the Tunel location makes much better pide sandwiches. Plus the front is open for people watching and the ice cream is unreal.
- Turkish ice cream - Really, it's incredibly rich and good.
The driver of our tour bus (Omer, not to be confused with Omer, our tour guide) is one of the most beautiful men I have ever seen. I don't know what he is doing driving a bus of tourists around Turkey. He should be a movie star. He smokes, like most Turks and I guess he doesn't want anyone to know. He is hiding his cigarette behind his back.
Here I am in the lobby of the Perissia Hotel in the Cappadocia Region of Turkey where the lounge entertainment is a young Turkish Man singing with an acoustic guitar. He just finished a version of Kansas's classic and a significant number of the multinational crowd joined in with him - some in earnest and some in what I can only guess is high school reverie. It's great to know that culture travels. All of the culture, 70's anthem rock included.