Hello All: at the insistence of my wife, LemonLady, I am writing this post since it seems a man's perspective is needed.
We first visited Istanbul in 1992 on a tour of Turkey. We ditched the tour since it was not conducive to our way of traveling. We wanted to go off the beaten path and our tour guide was not very amenable to our thinking and this caused friction. In fact a couple of times I though he and LemonLady who is usually kind and loving and Ahmet the guide were going to duke it out.
So we traveled around and reached Istanbul where we stayed at the Hilton, which we liked very much. We set about seeing the sites. We liked Taxim which has changed a lot since then .
We saw the major sites in Sultanahmet, walked around Galata and Ortokoy and enjoyed the scenery and meeting people. The next year we decided to take the children, the youngest was 1-1/2 then and they had a great time. We have been back every year since and Istanbul has provided us with many happy memories. In fact LemonLady became very attached to Istanbul and I did too. A few years ago we acquired a house in Sultahahmet which required major renovation and in which we hope to spend significant time when LemonLady can pry herself away from the music business. We made a lot of friends in Istanbul and we are constantly making more. Our neighbors are wonderful and although there was some trepidation in the beginning about all those Americans moving in that vanished at once.
Now to what I like in Istanbul. Since LemonLady is a world class shopper the boys and I and now the grandchildren often go off and see other things. Naval museum is a favorite of mine, military museum too. I like the mosaics at Chora very much. I also like the Museum of Islamic Art which I think is sometimes overlooked by visitors. We have been to the soccer matches, we root for Fenerbahce of course. I like the bookstore on Diwan Yolu and Vakko shop as well as Nakkas, filled with antiques. I also enjoy the Hammam, men are sometimes a little apprehensive about going but it is really relaxing. I like seeing the sunset from rooftops and Efes beer.
We love to eat out. Since I love fish we have tried a lot fish restaurants. Unfortunately I did not get to go with LL to Kordon Fish Restaurant in September but look forward to going when next in Istanbul. I like Nevizade Street too, Boncuk is my favorite there. Some strange stuff on the menu but all very tasty.
We like to go out at night. Have visited clubs and gone to events at the Ataturk Center, gallery openings and the local cinema.
I have to remark that LemonLady's passion for Istanbul and Turkey in general is genuine and I am behind her efforts to promote Turkey as a great travel destination. Americans seem so dense when it comes to information on Turkey, they seem to pick up on all the wrong things and ignore all of the right things.
Well LL is standing over me to read what I have written. I hope she approves and I haven't bored anyone. I don't think I have her knack for posting. Anyway, that's all and of course I must say Happy Travel, Pookie Bear Husband
PS: LL says I did not make Istanbul sound exciting in this post but it really is.