ISTANBUL, TURKEY

A day before my trip, a friend sent me this article about the TSA nightmares taking place for those who traveled to Turkey. Thankfully, I had no such issues. Other issues, other worldly issues, had crossed my mind. With recent protests in Turkey, along with the spillover the country was experiencing with people fleeing Syria due to ISIS, did have me question whether it was safe to be planted there for a handful of days. Again, thankfully, no issues.

Rather the city was vibrant. Full of energy, food and culture at the turn of every corner.

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A visit to Istanbul is not complete without visiting one of the many mosques. Driven by Muslamic religion, mosques remain the centerpiece to the the city and its people.

Meet the Blue Mosque from up close, 50 meters and 100 meters away.

And the beautiful Hagia Sophia from inside. 

After indulging on a daily basis over Turkish breakfasts, coffee and pastries we woke up one morning wanting something more, wanting something different. We scheduled a hamam (traditional Turkish bath...which I highly recommend!) the next day but wanted to make use of this day to unwind from the gluttony. This is what we found. Guys, meet the Suada Club. It's an island between two continents that is home to several restaurants and a big ass pool with the best vibe you'll ever find. The deep house beats with top 40 vocal mashups set the tone for this relaxing setting. Sliced fruit and cocktails were in abundance. Sun kisses and smiles stole the show.

As always, some of the most memorable moments happened at the most random times. Whether it was waking up in a sweat from the heat bursting through our flat (it had no A/C), hopping on the bus and getting a whiff of B.O. or being tricked into eating the famous 'wet burger' made of lamb instead of beef.  Those moments are not possible without good company- and good company was present.

One last thing I want to note before signing off...my belly was absolutely, 1000% pleased with the food in Istanbul. Every meal, and almost every dish, we had was delicious. From the street food to the high-brow restaurants- a meal did not disappoint our palettes. I admit, towards end of our trip we became tired of eating kebab. But being two weeks removed, I'm now craving it. 

Until next time. Serafe, Istanbul, serafe!