Breakfast and the Bosphorus - A day in Istanbul

After our brief overnight stay in Istanbul at the Four Seasons Hotel we flew to Ankara for two days. Ankara is the landlocked capital of Turkey housing the majority of the country's government and military offices. Mustafa KemaAtatürk relocated the capital of the New Turkish Republic to Ankara to shed the Islamic image that had come with the Ottoman Empire and to start afresh. Despite it's significance in Turkey's history Ankara is not a typical touristic destination so we left early to spend a day in Istanbul before flying back to Europe.

The Turkish flag is displayed prominently on many buildings.. and boats!

When we arrived into Istanbul at the ungodly hour of 7.30am I thought I was dying. I am quite the fan of sleeping so waking up for the first flight in the morning was horrendous. In my dreadfully grumpy state we quickly jumped into a taxi and headed to the city centre in search of food and most importantly COFFEE!!

Early morning flight #theworst

We took the recommendation of a very wise individual and headed to Lokma Cafe in Rumelihisari. The cafe was located right next to the Bosphorus with stunning views, a beautiful location for breakfast!

View from Lokma Cafe

Already feeling better from looking at the sea, we ordered a typical Turkish breakfast, with two plates of eggs. The first one came mixed with tomatoes and pastırma (pastrami) and is called menemen. The second plate contained fried eggs with sucuk, a spicy Turkish sausage.

Menemen and in the background fried eggs with sucuk
People often dip into their eggs with Simit, a circular bread typically encrusted in sesame seeds.

There are also a selection of cheeses, we ordered fried halloumi skewers but I ate them so fast that I forgot to take a photo!

We also ordered Börek which is made of thin sheets of pastry stuffed with meat and cheese and baked. The Börek stuffed with pastırma has a special name: paçanga böreği.
Paçanga Böreği

Feeling much revived after eating we headed to House Cafe in Ortaköy for Turkish Coffee. House Cafe is a chain of urban upmarket cafes in Turkey serving a range of food and cocktails to Turkey's young and hip crowd.

In Turkish tradition it is possible to read a persons fortune by reading the patterns the coffee ground makes in the cup once the drink is finished and the coffee ground has cooled.

Maiden's Tower

With the countdown on to the flight back to Dublin we decided that a boat cruise on the Bosphorus would be the most time efficient way of seeing the many sites of Istanbul.

Hagia Sophia from the boat

We got on the boat for a 2 hour cruise at the chaotic district of Eminönü. It was wonderful to see the famous landmarks of Istanbul from the comfort of the boat, no hot and crowded tourist sites for me! Though I very much look forward to seeing the sites in closer detail on my next visit, perhaps at a time when I am not sleep deprived!

Historic Peninsula

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