Some friends from Dubai were also coming in for the concert.
We were still feeling rough from Corfu and so met Richard and his friend Chris for lunch in The House Café in Beyoglu, one of the main shopping and dining areas. It was pouring rain the whole day, so all sight-seeing was put on hold. We took the afternoon to catch up on news since we'd last met, drank some red wine (very expensive in Istanbul) and nibbling cheese etc. Later that evening, our friends Jules and Nicole arrived, and we continued with the same pattern. It was a late night.
Monday was Concert Day!!! We'll put it as its own entry.
On our last day, we had another slow morning to get some rest and do a boatload of laundry. We met Jules and Nicole for lunch at Hamdi restaurant, by the spice souk. After exploring the spice souk, we crossed the bottom level of Galata bridge, watching the lines of the fishing rods above us jiggle with a catch and were getting accosted by waiters trying to get us to stop in for a bite. The Tunel train brought us uphill to Taksim where we took a break in the Beyoglu area for a beer and a chat. Nicky took that moment to give away some old Turkish Lira she had in her pocket from a previous before the notes dropped 3 zeros some years ago. The guys at the bar couldn’t get over the size of the old notes compared with the new ones – they definitely had a story to tell going home
. We split up to get a rest before dinner and we decided to walk back (it looked so close on the map!) It ended up taking almost an hour - so much for taking a nap! Dinner was at Sofyali 9 in the Meyhanes district. The waiter brought a tray of cold mezze – funny how it’s hard to turn it down when it’s there in front of you J Parsley (lamb’s lettuce) with yoghurt, chilli paste, fava beans in a light tomato sauce, green bell peppers stuffed with rice and herbs. We each had a cheese burek which was amazing – the best Dave has ever had, then shared a mixed grilled meat plate and a plate of kofta meatballs. All excellent but the burek was voted the winner by 4 votes to 0. After a cocktail in nearby 360, we had to say good night and good bye to the girls. See you soon in Dubai xx
This is our second visit to Istanbul, but we were delighted to come back as it is such a cosmopolitan city with a rich history and it gave us the opportunity to catch my first ever U2 concert. (David was getting worried that Aileen's Irish citizenship was going to be revoked if she didn't see U2 by a certain age) So we flew via Athens to Istanbul and had the pleasure of sharing a plane with Snow Patrol (who had played with U2 in Athens the night before) yet had no idea who they were. We saw a bunch of people taking photos in Athens, but thought they were just enjoying the fun of travelling to Istanbul. It took our friend Richard to point it out to us when we were standing in the immigration queue in Istanbul! We stayed in our friends apartment in Besiktas – thank you Pam & Sarper for letting us stay! And for all the helpful restaurant recommendations.