My family and I decided to spend Christmas 2016 in Turkey. It was a trip we had been planning for a few years--as a celebration of me and my partners 40th birthdays (mine in December and his in January) and my mom's 75th birthday coming up in Summer 2017. Who needs an excuse to travel though?
It was an incredibly special trip. I hadn't been to Turkey in eleven years. My partner and our daughter had never been. My mom spends two months a year in Istanbul currently. My father was Turkish (he passed away in 2003), and our family has a flat in Istanbul, that my grandfather bought in the 1950s. When I owned a business from 2008-2015, I could never figure out a time to get away. I closed my business in September 2015, and over a year later, on December 20th 2016, we flew to Istanbul and stayed until January 17th 2017. This post and subsequent others document our adventures.
People often ask us what it is like to travel with a kid on long flights. She's always done pretty well, and has been able to sleep for part of the flight. I love that she can wear these adorable eye covers the Turkish Airlines gave her, along with a toothbrush and toothpaste, socks and slippers, and a stuffed bear! We enjoyed our experience traveling with Turkish Airlines.
On our first morning in Istanbul, we explored the Galatasaray area of Istanbul, ate delicious Adana Kebab, found giant grasshoppers and graffiti on the side of a building, and snapped a picture of the Galata Tower, which we would return to a different day, as jet lag was settling in.
During our first week in Istanbul, we stayed pretty close to home, exploring the nearby neighborhood of Besiktas, which includes a new large soccer stadium, a farmer's market, delicious manti (a ravioli type stuffed pasta) to eat, and the 140 steps back to home to our apartment.
Christmas is not celebrated in Turkey, but New Year's is, and we continued to explore our neighborhood of Tesvikiye and Nisantasi, made it to the top of the Galata Tower for some terrific views, and visited the market in Uskudar and found some incredible color in the dried veggies hanging outside the shops.