Thursday, July 10, 2008

Istanbul: Turkish Delight

Forget all the cliches about East meets West, about how it’s a melting pot of cultures, styles, cuisines, and architecture. It’s all of these and more. But the bottom line is that Istanbul in summer ROCKS!

The last time I was here was ~5 years ago, and while I’ve always loved this city, this time the sights, nightlife, food and people formed a combination that was out of this world!

I must give thanks to my Turkish mates Nic & Cengiz for giving me an Istanbul primer, but it was my new friend Zeynep (thanks Amanda!) who showed me what this city is capable of! This organisational powerhouse and nightlife doyenne planned my time here to the second. All the hottest places were booked and prepped to give us their best. She had everything: venues, phones, people, accommodation, and seemed to be intent on marrying me off before I left, as she had at least five different delightful women take me to dinner each night I was here. The venues were stunning: amazing views, great food, and fantastic design. Unlike Moscow, Istanbul knows how to party every night of the week!

Oh yes, there are also fabulous tourist & historical sights here, enough to keep even a museum, church, and mosque skeptic like me busy for a week. It’s not a cheap city though, partying here is likely to raise a bar tab that rivals a night in Moscow.

Stay tuned Istanbul, I’ll be back real soon!

Photos are here.

Worldguide entry is here.

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