Stephanie March's Istanbul Diary: The End
After that, back in a plane, back in a car, back in Istanbul, my old friend. And the Four Seasons, which is better for my time-pressed sightseeing and works out to be almost exactly the cost of my refunded day in Cappadocia.
I spent three hours in the Grand Bazaar sucking down free tea and looking at textiles. Then I visited Rüstem Pasha Mosque (a gem of a mosque that I like to think of as the St. Chapelle of Istanbul — but you can see for yourself in this video), walked the Galata Bridge, and touched the Bosphorus. I have to tag every body of water I meet. It's a thing (re: OCD).
I ate at Karaköy Lokantasi, a chic Turkish brasserie covered in turquoise tile, and drained my raki. The restaurants near the hotel are marginal (think Times Square), so maybe one drink on the hotel terrace and then pack for my homecoming.
Let's recap what I've learned:
1. Turks are great, and the good ones are some of the most generous, hospitable people you'll encounter.
2. Where East meets West will never not be interesting.
3. The Mediterranean diet is good for you but a bit short on Thai food.
4. If locals see you trying your hardest to ask questions, get directions, say thank you in their language, they WILL help you.
5. Even if I was paid in euros, the Four Seasons would be pricey. Damn you, dollar.
I really want to come back to Turkey. Like, a lot. I'd do the same thing as before but cut one day off the Cappadocia leg and add two or three more. I want to go swimming in the Aegean.