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I was lucky enough to have a 12-hour stopover in Istanbul on my way to Hong Kong this week, and I was excited to spend a day in a city I love dearly. I’d been wanting to return to Istanbul for years, but because I’d been there twice already, I always made time for new places instead of revisiting old favorites. This visit, however, reminded me that it is totally worth it to revisit places I already know (and love!) instead of only going to new places.
It didn’t take more than an hour or so to make me wish I had more than just one day in Istanbul – there’s just always something new to explore here. This time I skipped the touristy sights such as the Grand Bazaar and the Blue Mosque and visited a side of Istanbul unknown to me prior to this trip. Thanks to my friend Katie I got to visit Kadiköy, an up-and-coming neighborhood on the Asian side of Istanbul which I’d read lots about and was happy to finally visit. I couldn’t believe I’d never made it over the Bosporus to Istanbul’s Asian side! The ferry ride alone is worth the trip.
My day in Istanbul started with an extensive yummy Turkish breakfast while we were catching up on all the things we did since we saw each other last in Sri Lanka, followed by a stroll around the Taksim area and finally the ferry ride over to Kadiköy where we meandered through markets, along the waterside, the abandoned Haydarpaşa Garı train station and where Katie showed me some cool street art spots. Our busy day ended with an excellent dinner and baklava for dessert, and by the time I boarded my plane, I was so tired that I passed out immediately.
Istanbul, I have a feeling that I’ll see you soon again…