Turkey Summer 2015: Arrival and First Day, 8/5/15 – 8/6/15

I decided this year that I was going to spend 2 weeks in Istanbul this summer! The trip is from August 5th to August 19th, with 2 mini trips to some amazing places, Çeşme and Cappadocia.

I headed out for my 5pm flight around 9:30am to the train station in Middletown, NY. I had a pitstop in mind. When I arrived at Penn, I took a subway to meet my friend Patrick for lunch. After, I headed right over to JFK.

JFK is a really nice airport, and security was quite fast. No longer had to take shoes off, which was a plus.

Minutes before departue

Minutes before departure

On my flight, I sat next to a woman named Talia, who was going to visit her boyfriend. She had a lot of adventure in mind, and we shared some stories and knowledge about Turkey. It was a great conversation and helped the time pass.

The flight was awesome, the duration was not. 9 hours in a plane is not the most ideal way to spend your “night”.

Upon arrival, I met up with Serra (my Turkish girlfriend) and she drove me to her family’s place,  a very nice apartment complex in a great location in Istanbul.

After getting settled in, we went to the beltas cafe on a bosphorus, a body of water that connects salt and fresh water. Across this body of water is the continent of Asia.


This bridge connects Europe to Asia, all within the city of Istanbul


At this cafe, we had a stuffed baked potato. It had pickles, sausage, corn, vicious, and other ingredients. It was absolutely delicious.

After, we walked around the area and saw some cool stuff. There was a market, and we wound up at a nice specialty drinks cafe. I have a cucumber, tangerine and black pepper drink, while Serra has a strawberry flavored drink.


Had some refreshing tea/juice after settling in


Beautiful mosque found on the water

Beautiful mosque found on the water

Later that night, we had dinner with some of her friends, and I had boiled veal brain, which had a very soft consistency. The taste was pretty good! Other foods included fried liver, octopus, a dough with meat and cheese in it, and some other amazing foods.

It’s cool, people order a ton of appetizer-like meals and share them.

Veal brain, tasted really good!

Veal brain, tasted really good!

We also shared we raki, a Turkish alcohol that tasted a lot like licorice and peppermint. You mix it with water and it turns cloudy white.


We spent the rest of the night hanging out. I was jet-lagged, so we called it an early night once returning back to Serra’s house.