Return to Istanbul, Day 1

Before catching our ride to the airport, we were able to catch the hot air balloons again

After landing at Ataturk Airport in Istanbul, we took a taxi to our hotel, checked in, and then set off for Karakoy.  We had lunch at a popular restaurant known for its mucver, or zucchini fritters.

Lokanta Maya

After lunch, we went to Istanbul Modern.  On our way out, I snapped this photo

Then it was off to Dolmabahce Palace, which was very impressive but, unfortunately, didn’t allow photos inside the palace so I took these photos outside the palace.

Then it was off to Beyoglu, where we stopped off at this exhibition space.  It was hard deciding which restaurants to go to in Istanbul but I settled on this place because of the positive reviews it received.  Unfortunately, the food was lackluster–the much lauded mezes were disappointing and the fish in one of the entrees we ordered overcooked.  I did like this photo I took from the restaurant though.

Afterwards, we met up with a couple that we had met in Cappadocia.  Since it had started raining by the time we met up, we went to a nearby cafe/bar.  The place was largely empty for the first few hours we were there but, around 11:00, the guys working there started removing the tables and chairs and we watched the place transform from cafe/bar to dance club.  We stayed to enjoy the dance club portion of the evening but, after a little too much wine and some dancing, parted ways back to our hotels.

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