My first memory of Karin Eaton was when we were invited by Kay West to interview some Mediterranean restaurant by Vandy. Kay knew that Karen was just like me, always game to review restaurants that were, you might say, slightly off the beaten track. I remember Karin dressed for the evening in a long billowy skirt and silk midriff top. The evening was rousing good fun, with belly dancers, incredible food and lots of wild and crazy Meds. I have had a special place in my heart for Karin ever since. (Hey, when you share a Hooka pipe with someone, that’s saying something.)
When Karin mentioned she was going to Istanbul recently, I knew we had to ask her to chronicle her trip. Not only is she an amazing photographer, she a real sleuth when it comes to places tucked away from the common traveler.
Seriously, get yourself a LARGE coffee because there are lots of photos to enjoy today. I couldn’t cut any – they are all exquisite.
One of the nicest things about travel is meeting people, and meeting people often leads to happy coincidences. For example, this past winter, I met my new friend, Tijen, in Los Angeles at the Design Blogger’s Conference. As it turns out, Tijen lives in Istanbul, which is one of my favorite places on the planet. So, when Tijen suggested that I attend Istanbul Design Week, I didn’t hesitate.
Istanbul, considered to be the gateway to Asia, actually straddles Europe and Asia. This photo is taken from the Topkapi Palace and looks across the Bosphorus from the European side of Istanbul to the Asian side of Istanbul. My husband, Robin, and I visited Istanbul 5 years ago. Knocked out by the magnificent mosques and palaces in the old town of Sultanahmet, we vowed to return. For this second visit, Tijen encouraged me to explore the Asian side of the city.
Staying on the Asian side involves crossing bridges, which is where you come face to face with the reality of 20 million people all driving cars. Seriously snarling and stinky traffic that I have never encountered anywhere else.
However, staying on the edge of the Bosphorus is very soothing.
The combination of gritty and glamorous, ancient and modern, Asian and European combine to make Istanbul an exotic,romantic, and endlessly fascinating destination. We will return.
StyleBluprint tip: “Our friends at Belle Meade Vacations have some excellent itineraries to Istanbul and know the best places to stay. During a month with turkey on the brain, turn the bird into a trip, and discover Istanbul”