January: What to do in Istanbul today

Happy 2020!

I hope you had a great start in the new year. As you might have noticed, I have renewed my blog in 2019. It got a new name (Spell A World) and a new image. Most of my blog posts are about Istanbul and Turkey, however, I plan to write more about other adventures, experiences and interesting people here as well. #52breakfasts project is still on and from January 2020 onwards, I will choose 3 cool ideas for activities in Istanbul (and sometimes Turkey) in the following month. The ideas will vary from interesting expositions you should not miss, festivals, sports events, and sightseeing ideas. I hope you will find it interesting.

Here are the first 3 cool ideas and activity suggestions for January 2020.

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Looking Back to 2019: Events That Surprised Istanbulites

We tought it would never happen, but here it is: The New Airport

We knew that they were building it. We knew that they planned to build the biggest of them all. But we also kind of hope that they would cancel the project. There were many rumors about it (good and bad), but what concerned the most of the Istanbulites was its location. It is simply too far away. Especially when one compares it with the convenient location of the Atatürk Airport. After the official opening ceremony in October 2018, when just a few flights were transferred to the new airport, the big opening was postponed to December 31st 2018. And then again postponed to March 3rd 2019… and then to April 6th 2019.  And on that day it has finally happened. Do you like the new airport and its location? I personally fell kind of little and lost in the huge building.

Photo was taken at the exhibition The Child Within Me; Artwork by Fabio Viale
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Week #34: A Hidden Balcony

Karaköy and Kadıköy seem to be two neighbourhoods where breakfast options seem infinite. Since I moved to Kadıköy a few months ago, it has become much easier to explore this side of Istanbul. (Though my idea, when I started with the #52breakfasts project in 2018 was to cover most parts of Istanbul equally, it now seems rather impossible. Nonetheless, besides the above-mentioned neighbourhoods, I have also covered Beşiktaş, Beyoğlu, Cihangir, Çapa, Büyükada, Zeytinburnu, Yeniköy, Bahçeköy, Üsküdar, Çengelköy, Fındıkzade, Süleymaniye, Eminönü, Osmanbey&Nişantaşı and Feriköy. If you have any suggestions about breakfast places worth visiting, please reach out to me. You can also support my blog by inviting me to a coffee or two.)

Our choice: böcek II
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Gift of Vesuvius: Herculaneum and Pompeii

Naples and Vesuvius

Pompeii and Herculaneum have been on my bucket list for a long time. I am so happy that I have finally found the time and visited both of them. Of course, without visiting Vesuvius and eating Margherita in Naples, plus drinking Aperol Spritz, my trip wouldn’t be complete. If you are in Italy, the best way to reach the city is by train. I recommend you Italo trains, which are fast and comfortable, plus the central train station is pretty close to the centre and the metro station.

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Week #33: Croissant, S’il Vous Plait.

The Turkish language has borrowed (and adapted) many words from other languages. Besides Arabic and Persian, French vocabulary is also quite well represented. You might have been in a rush to the train gar, or twisted your tongue trying to pronounce küaför… I have a piece of good news: kruvasan might look a silly spelling to all the French speakers out there, but it’s easy to remember even speaking Turkish is not one of your assets.

Continue reading “Week #33: Croissant, S’il Vous Plait.”

Week #32: Back to (Delicious) Basics

Hello breakfast lovers! I has been a month or two since I have published my previous breakfast recommendation. In this period, an interesting and also concerning article was published in Turkish media: popular and often too big to eat serpme breakfasts are the infamous contributors to food waste in Turkey. According to Turkish Foundation for waste reduction, serpme “breakfast “model” causes food waste totalling TL 100 billion every year “. (You can read whole news in Daily Sabah.) In last 2 years I have visited many breakfast places and I must agree that portions tend to be too big. Breakfast platter for 1 or 2 people usually has more than enought food for an extra person. When ordering food, we might really over-order and like that contribute to extra food waste. In some of my posts, I have mentioned if the portions are too big or suitable for more people. Please take this things into a consideration. If we can afford paying for so much food, this doesn’t mean we should throw it away.

Cheese Seller

That being said, the past weekend, I decided to finally visit a recommended breakfast place in Feriköy (next to Bomonti). I have to say, that it wouldn’t come with a recommendation, I would probably never have found it. It is actually a kebap evi, which also serves breakfast. Breakfast might seem quite basic if we compare it to some other serpme style breakfast places around the city, however, its simplicity and deliciousness are defenitely something which will make me return. And it is very delicious. (My stomach just rejoiced when it remembered the taste of the cheese. If you think breakfast should be cheesy, than check this recommendation.)

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Venice and La Biennale (and some eco-friendly tips)

Italy is Always a Good Idea

Commuting in Venice is fun

So much has been said about Venice, can I tell you something new? I am sure that many tourist guides and internet pages cover the history of the city and must see places, that is why I won’t write many things about it. But I can confirm, that even though I have been to Venice several times (though some years have passed since my last visit), it is still nice to get lost in the streets and canals of Venice. It is one of those cities you can visit without a map because the arrows will lead your way…and if you get lost, you might find another interesting canal or plaza.

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Day Trip: Serindere Canyon

Living in Istanbul is full of surprises. This city probably never sleeps and sometimes to follow its rythm can be exhausting. In summer time, many Istanbulites escape to nearby beaches in Kilyos, Şile or to a Princes Islands. By saying many, I actually mean MANY. Beaches, roads and ferries are often very kalabalık on the weekends, so the water might cool you down, but does not take away the stress.

So how can one really escape Istanbul?

Sometimes surprisingly easy, you just need to go off the beaten path. And last Friday, despite being an official holiday, we have found a very peaceful, isolated, refreshing and green oasis just two hours ride from the city. You cannot believe it, right? Then continue reading.

Road to Serindere Canyon
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My Camino Experience

(Part 1)

It has passed a year since my Camino de Santiago experience. I have heard about the Camino (St. James Way) more than 15 years ago, however, I have never really considered on walking it. About 10 years ago, when I visited Guernica (part of Camino del Norte), stayed at albergue (a type of hostel where pilgrims stay) and saw pilgrims, I have thought that I am not as crazy as them to walk hundreds of kilometres to Santiago. Well, life is full of surprises, and something may seem crazy (and torture) at one point of our lives, meanwhile a few years later (or earlier) we might percieve it as an adventure worth taking.

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Week #31: Eggs Benedict (Again)

Like the previous week, this week I have visited another place, which I knew more like a bar. Breakfast here did not disappoint at all! It was much better than I expected…and guess what, they do serve Eggs Benedict with salmon! I have found Eggs Benedict in a few places around Istanbul, but these were one of the best. (You can check other places here: Balat, Kadiköy, Barcelona).

Karaköy was (again) breakfast destination of the week, more precisely Unter. What did I like: fresh and quality ingredients. Chese and of couse, solmon Benedict Eggs. Eggs were order separately and are not part of the breakfast plate. Breakfast plate is big enough for 3 people, especially if you order eggs extra.

Adress: Unter, Kemankeş Karamustafa Paşa, 4 Necatibey Caddesi &, Karaali Kaptan Sk., 34425 Beyoğlu/İstanbul