a bit nippy,
It was a late afternoon in early October that cemented our deep love for Istanbul
But every October, even for a fleeting moment, we feel some of the same energy we felt that day on the ferry.
It is neither too hot during the day, nor too chilly at night, and the city is prime for maximum exploration.
Though synonymous with winter, boza season begins as soon as it is cool enough for the thick, slightly fermented millet beverage to resist spoiling. It tastes like a splash of Pabst Blue Ribbon over thick applesauce, and imbues us with strength to stave off the colder months.
We make sure to secure a prime outdoor seat, before scuffling to the café for a glass of strong, piping hot çay, our favorite ferry companion.
The meat is bought, sliced and marinated daily, and it usually runs out by 4 p.m. at the latest, a testament to its sublime quality and the excellent knife skills of the mustachioed duo behind the counter.
Around evening time the lines can get ridiculous, but the early afternoon shouldn’t present much of a problem.
Making our way back to the pier for the second ferry ride of the day (this was intentional), we embark at Karaköy while the sun is still shining.
After de-boarding, we stroll over to the funicular, ride it up to Tünel and walk to the Büyük Londra, one of Istanbul’s most iconic hotels, which derives its appeal from the fact that the décor recalls a bygone era. We go upstairs to the rooftop bar to enjoy a cold Efes or two on the terrace, basking in the sublime views of the Golden Horn on one side and Beyoğlu on the other.
Once the sun has set, we admire the glimmering lights that have descended on the Golden Horn and drain our glasses.
and can already taste the sharp white cheese, honey-sweet melon and meze in between blissful sips of ice-cold rakı.
décor is quaint and charming, and the service is as genuine and friendly as the mezes are masterful.
we head for a nightcap on the terrace of our beloved Peyote, where the beer is always cold and the music is never bad.
Spending a fall day soaking in the city’s beauty and delighting in its fabulous food and drink leaves us flummoxed as to why anyone wouldn’t want to come here.
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