I spent this morning wandering around the Beyoglu neighbourhood we are staying in. This area of Istanbul was apparently the European Quarter during the Ottoman Empire and you can feel it as you walk along the (steep!) narrow, cobblestoned streets. Now, the neighbourhood seems to be filled with music and instrument shops, quirky boutiques, cafés, and indie clothing stores. It’s lovely.
I walked from our apartment up to the bustling thoroughfare, Istiklal Caddesi, until I reached Taksim Square. Istiklal Caddesi is touted as Istanbul’s “most exciting” street, with all the shops you’d find in a big western city, restaurants, bars, mosques, churches, embassies, and of course, lots of people. I’m pretty sure I counted three Starbucks… It felt very cosmopolitan (if not just very commercial), and was a good little chunk to explore as I wait for my parents to arrive. I made it back to our apartment just as the rain started to fall.
My parents still haven’t arrived (another late flight!), it’s been an unlucky trip over for them, I just hope they’re not too weary when they finally get here! Meanwhile, I’m sitting by the huge window in our living room, watching the rain pour down over the Bosphorus, and sipping my tea…someone pinch me? Life could be worse! Happy Friday to you!