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Having the family over

Living in Istanbul means not having your family around you at any time. To fix this my parents and my brother came to visit me in Istanbul. I took a week of work and I give them an almighty tour of the amazing city. They tasted the food, they got a feel for the people and they hated the hills. All in all, it was an amazing week and I’m so glad that they came to experience a little taste of my life here in Istanbul.

They arrived on Saturday 22nd of October, seeing them come through the international flight gates made me so happy, it was very emotional, but I expected it. They stayed in Galata, not far from the tower and close by to Istiklal Street in a really nice apartment that had all the things they needed to stay. After settling we went for dinner in Taksim in a little cafe named Zencefil which was actually a vegetarian place, somewhere we wouldn’t have chosen if we would have known but the food was really tasty. As my parents and brother had a long flight earlier that day they were tired so they went back to their apartment and slept for the next day.

Sunday we went to the little paradise of the Prince’s Islands, the place I spent most of my weekends in the summer. Taking the ferry is a good experience and gives you a really good idea of life in Istanbul. On the large island we enjoyed the walk through the trees, getting lost and walking up and down the hills.

On Monday my family wanted to spend the day in Taksim. We started off by going up the Galata tower, something I hadn’t done yet and something we had to do since they were in an apartment that looked onto the tower. The view is amazing and you really can see most things. After the tower we enjoyed the walk down Istiklal and the surrounding areas. We went to my home that evening and my house mate cooked a meal for us all. My parents liked my apartment and we want back to Galata to sleep ready for the next long day.

Tuesday we went to Sultanahmet, we took a walk over the bridge and then I took them on a walk through my favourite park and into Sultanahmet. We visited Blue Mosque and Hagia Sofia and went to Sultanahmet Köftecisi for dinner, you have to go there if you go to Sultanahmet.

Wednesday was my mums birthday, we went on a Bosphorus tour on a boat which was a really good experience, it took us way up north towards the black sea and we enjoyed seeing all the sight seeing places across the coast. After exploring the spice bazaar we went back to Taksim where I had booked a restaurant with the most amazing view. After the meal we went to a small jazz bar in one of the side streets of Istiklal where we enjoyed the music and the atmosphere.

On Thursday we visited Eminonu going to both the grand bazaar and the spice bazaar, my dad enjoyed a whole lot of haggling with the stall owners and at every chance I dragged them into as many mosques as possible. This long day tired everyone out preparing them for a relaxing last day.

The last full day, Friday was spent on the Asian side of Istanbul. Its not a common place for me to go, but if your staying in Istanbul, you should see both sides, so we spent the day there with two of my friends. We returned for an early sleep as the flight home for them was very early in the morning.

We said our goodbyes at the airport where me and my friend dropped them off. It really was nice to see my family, and I appreciate them coming and enjoying the perfect week with them.