I began my Saturday with trying out the metro system in Istanbul and went to the old and more touristic part of the city. I strolled around and went to the Grand Bazaar(Where a lot of people tried to sell stuff by calling stuff like ”Blondie”). I really liked the traditional serving plates that they are selling and the traditional Turkish towels are also very pretty. I think I will buy some of those before I go home in august. After the pretty clamorous walk through the Bazaar I went to a park where I sat down and ate some cherry’s that I bought in a small fruit shop along the way (for 1,5 TL which is less than 0,5 euro :O ) and read for a bit. This city is all about contrasts.
I was a bit nervous before my first weekend in Istanbul, since I have never been here before I didn't know anyone in the city except for my colleagues. There is not really any big social networks for foreigners here in Istanbul anymore because of the unrest in the country the last few years. How ever, I managed to get in contact with a Turkish girl during my first days here and we meet for a lunch on Saturday. She grew up in Istanbul and therefor knows a lot about the city and it's sights. We went for lunch at a traditional Köfte restaurant. Köfte is almost like Swedish meatballs and we ate them with a traditional bean salad with a lot of oil. The food was okay - but I think prefer to eat other Turkish foods like meze!
After lunch we went to see a few sights in the nearby. We checked the most common ones as the Blue Mosque and a water reservoir from the 6th century called Basilica cistern. Istanbul has beautiful historic buildings and a rich culture which is reflected in the big differences between the areas of the city. We also went to a rooftop café&bar where we drank some coffee and lemonade while we enjoyed the magnificent view over the city and the water.
Sunday morning, I slept in and went for a swim in the hotel pool - they have a small gym and relax area in the basement, which is nice. The rest of the day I spent wandering around in an area called Taksim where I meet with a few other expats here in Istanbul. Among them a Swedish couple that showed me a Swedish cafe called "The Swedish Coffee Spot". They serve coffee, cinnamon rolls and other typically Swedish "fika", which was really nice. The weekend time flew and suddenly it was Sunday evening and time to go home and sleep and get ready for a new week at the Oriflame office!