Istanbul travel notes

June 7, 2009

Linda and I spent four nights in Istanbul May 21 – 25, 2009. We flew Turkish Airways nonstop from Nice. The three-hour flights both ways were full and on time. However, Istanbul Airport was not so efficient. Read the rest of this entry »

On May 21, 2009, Linda and I started out on foot from our hotel The Four Seasons Sultanahmet. We walked west through a mixed commercial and residential neighbourhood, where a few blocks still had some old charm. Read the rest of this entry »

Körfez, Istanbul

May 28, 2009

To arrive at Körfez, on the Asian side of the Bosphorus, from Sultanahmet we had a sightseeing taxi ride in the light Sunday evening traffic on May 24, 2009. After crossing the Golden Horn on the Galata Bridge, we drove north along the European side of the Bosphorus. Read the rest of this entry »

Sur Balik, Istanbul

May 28, 2009

Sur Balik is not mentioned in any of the guides or blogs so we were a bit sceptical when the concierge at The Four Seasons Sultanahmet recommended it. But he was convincing, so Linda and I went for dinner there on May 23, 2009. Read the rest of this entry »

Hünkar, Istanbul

May 24, 2009

Choosing a restaurant in Istanbul is not easy. Those recommended are scattered in different neighborhoods. Guidebooks and bloggers have much more diverse ideas than in Europe’s other great cities. Hünkar had been mentioned in the 2007 list of The World’s 100 Best Restaurants, but was since dropped; it does not appear in the 2009 Zagat’s Istanbul. But others recommend it as the best example of traditional “Ottoman” cuisine, which inspired our choosing it for dinner on May 22, 2009. Read the rest of this entry »

Hamdi, Istanbul

May 24, 2009

After a morning in the Grand Bazaar and then the nearby Spice Bazaar on May 22, 2009, Linda and I had lunch at this rooftop restaurant, defying the old adage that the quality of the food is usually the opposite of the quality of the view. Read the rest of this entry »