Today we woke up but (gasp!) didn’t have breakfast right away. Instead, we traveled for a bit and ended up in a random parking lot. But, it turns out it was a fancy random parking lot, as it was the parking lot that went with a GORGEOUS hotel.
The first thing I saw when I walked in was a 360 breakfast buffet. There was literally a circle of food in front of me and it was glorious.
All of us (the Harvard delegates and about 8 Turkish delegates) sat at a long table and enjoyed a delicious breakfast. I had about eight mini-simit (yes, I have a problem). I was able to have the simit with Nutella (!!) but also with honey. Not just any honey, though, but honey straight from the comb. I had never experienced this before, but there was a comb of honey, with a wire running through it, and you literally scrape off some of the honey from the comb – it was so fresh and delicious and went perfectly with the simit.
After many rounds of breakfast buffet, we walked around the grounds of the hotel a bit (it was raining, but you could still clearly tell how beautiful this place was, and there were so many flowers!) We got back on the bus and headed to tea at Çengelköy. This was a lovely, seaside restaurant and provided exquisite views of the Bosphorus (which, in case you’re curious, currently has jellyfish in it…) I had delicious apple tea, which tasted like sweet apple cider.
Once tea was done, we made our way to a chocolate shop (which was very similar to Burdick’s in Harvard Square!) We then meandered back to the bus and headed to Çamlica hill. Unfortunately we have just been striking out with the weather and both today and the other day when we were supposed ot have incredible views (i.e. when we went up the Sapphire Tower, Istanbul’s tallest building) the weather was completely foggy/drizzly and we could not see a thing.
However, it was nice to stretch our legs and walk around for a bit (especially after such a large breakfast!) We then headed to a restaurant near the Grand Bazaar where I had a delicious chicken kabob.
Next we were given another hour to explore the Grand Bazaar. I went with Fulya (one of the Turkish members of the Club). I had a great time shopping, but more importantly learning more about her life and Turkish culture.
After the Bazaar, we took the subway train to change continents yet again (this time we started the day in Asia and were going back to Europe). The train went underground/under the sea and in about three minutes we had changed continents.
Our meals were not following a normal schedule today (breakfast/brunch was around 10:30, meaning lunch was around 4 – reminding me once again of Spain!) Once in European-Istanbul, we had the most delicious Turkish delight for a pre-dinner dessert. We went to a restaurant that specializes in Turkish desserts and it did not disappoint. I had a delicious baklava-like dessert that included 41 layers of pastry!
After getting back on the bus, we headed back to campus, completely stuffed. Once we arrived at campus we just hung out for our last night in Istanbul. We had a small sandwhich dinner around 10pm and then played some games and listened to music for the rest of the night.
Around 1am, we were hungry again, but unfortunately got stuck in traffic, so around 2am we had delicious Turkish sausage sandwiches at a trusted place near where we had our Turkish baths the first night. We then got driven back to our hotel.
During the past few nights, I had opted to sleep in (no surpise there) but some of the other Harvard delegates opted to go to get waffles. They were all raving about them, and when Ahmet asked if we wanted to get waffles again, I thought YOHIO (You Only HCAP Istanbul Once) and went for it.
And OMG I am so glad I did. The waffle industry in Turkey reminds me a lot of the Froyo industry in America – very trendy/up-and-coming, with cute (but expensive) shops popping up everywhere. The waffles themselves were delicious, but even better were the toppings you could add. I had a Nutella-like substance, strawberries and bananas on mine.
We arrived back to our hotel room around 4am, happy but incredibly exhausted and stuffed after a wonderful and delicious last day/night in Istanbul.
TGT: 1) WAFFLES 2) Out of this world breakfast 3) Chatting and shopping with Fulya in the Grand Bazaar
Until next time,