4 September 2012 at 5:00 am, by Annie Chen

In July, Timo went to Istanbul to work with Gillian on their new venture, TripCommon (they are super cool – sign up for when they launch!). Gill and Wes live in a really amazing apartment in the Cihangir neighborhood with gorgeous views over the river and the city. I was able to fly out there for the weekend to help out a bit with TC but mostly just enjoy Istanbul. I completely fell in love with the city and the people there…and definitely the food. It’s such a cool place to have an adventure and I can see why many travelers stay longer than they expect…

The things I love about Istanbul:

1. Street kittens everywhere! They are just so sweet – I understand why locals feed and take care of them. Some of my favorites were the vespa kitties:

And the sleepy little guys on the stairs:

Definite cute attack!

2. The view from Gill’s apartment. W-O-W. It’s no surprise she calls it a treehouse. She also has a really cool tumblr blog with pictures from her apartment.


3. Boat trips on the Bosporus - this was truly special. Gill and her friends rented out the boat for the day and it came with an awesome crew and a plenty of comfortable couches and benches.

The water was clear and refreshing and warm enough to stay in for a long time. Loved jumping off the boat!

Super cuties alert!

Gill mixes up a mean negroni – what else to drink in this kind of climate?

Go team TC!

4. Cultural wonderland – I have actually not spent any time in a city with a heavy Islamic influence and population. Istanbul as a crossroads of the east and the west and the different religions was utterly fascinating. We were there during the start of Ramadan and it was hard for me to imagine fasting all day in that exhausting heat. Our first night there I was scared half to death by the drummer going by at around 5am waking everyone up to eat before the sun rose.

Here we are standing outside the Blue Mosque:

Inside the Aja Sofia:

The mosaics are something not to be missed, really amazing:

Inside the blue Mosque:

5. The people are wonderful – super friendly and great service everywhere we went. Living in Amsterdam I have come to really appreciate great service!

6. Fruits and veggies are to die for. Street food is to die for. Food in nicer restaurants is to die for. So maybe yes, it’s ALL turkish food, but it is so so good. In fact, Timo and I have been eating at Turkish restaurants every week for the past month! We’re completely  obsessed.

7. So much more to see…there are so many places in Turkey besides Istanbul that I am now dying to see – beaches, islands, inland. Looking forward to exploring the country more, this trip was a super delicious taste of all of the travel I hope to do soon! It’s also sometimes amazing everything that you can do in a weekend.




  • Gemorris

    That’s the last time I ever let Wes pressure me into doing one of those heart photos. But otherwise I love everything about this post and it was so wonderful hosting you! We’ll have to do a reunion sometime soon!