After spending an incredibly relaxing time in Cappadocia floating over the moon-like landscape and sleeping like posh Flintstones, we found ourselves back to the electric city of Istanbul. Because we were able to cram so much in during our first stopover we focused our time and energy exploring the funky neighbourhood of Galata. We decided to rent an apartment in this great neighbourhood in order to experience what it is like to live like a local and feel at home in Istanbul. Also, we wanted to unwind for a few days – as if we weren’t relaxed enough from our stay at the Kale Konak Cave Hotel in Cappadocia. Also by this point in our trip, we were a few days past the point of doing laundry. There are only so many ways to flip a pair of boxer shorts inside out 🙂
Thankfully Baylosuites was there for us. This hip and modern group of apartments in a historic building at the foot of the Galata Tower was the perfect place for us to drop our bags and put our feet up.
This apartment has everything you need to feel at home – a cosy living space with a great couch, satellite TV for catching up on bad MTV reality shows, a full kitchen, a modern bathroom, and a separate bedroom to provide a little space when your travel partner can’t seem to get enough of said reality shows.
On top of this comfort, the kind owners left us essentials in the fridge – milk, coffee, tea, yoghurt, and a bread basket alongside some amazing homemade jam. There was also handmade soap in a decorative tin which only added to the nice touches found throughout this amazing apartment.
Seriously, how could we not feel at home in Istanbul with a welcome like this?
Our first night in this cosy apartment was spent sipping Russian beluga vodka we picked up in Sochi and searching the hundreds of satellite channels for the Canadian Olympic hockey game. When we couldn’t find it we made use of the apartment’s ultra-fast Internet and Skyped our Irish roommate back in Vancouver.
There was something incredibly cool and satisfying about sitting in a hip apartment in Turkey Skypeing with our Irishmen friend in Canada watching the hockey game while sipping high-end Russian vodka. It was one of those amazing travel moments that will always make me smile.
The next couple of days were spent touring the cute shops and streets in the area, sipping Turkish Coffee in cobblestone patio cafés, and taking in the vibe that Istanbul radiates. After a while, we blended in with old men having tea and the young hip crowds bar hopping. We were feeling at home in Istanbul.
As for local attractions, We climbed the Galata Tower for a view of Istanbul – sadly I didn’t get one post-worthy photo, nighttime shooting is something I need to work on. I did get some cool shots of the tower itself though.
We strolled the Galata Bridge a couple of times as I was fascinated by the action found there. I loved the fisherman jostling for position along this historic bridge and the locals that walk by and sample their fresh catch straight from their buckets. We were not feeling at home in Istanbul enough to buy some fresh fish.
We also had time to enjoy the Commando steps and even stopped for a photoshoot of the Timbuk2 Aviator Wheeled Backpack I was given to photograph around the world.
When we weren’t strolling the cobblestone streets and living like a local we were enjoying the amazing rooftop patio at the Baylosuites apartment. There you are presented with an amazing view of the city and the Golden Horn. It was the perfect spot to have some wine or a cup of tea and catch up on some writing.
Although we enjoyed the majority of our meals in Istanbul street side, we did eat at an amazing Georgian restaurant next door to the Baylosuites apartment. The Galata House had the most character of any restaurant we ate at during our whole around the world trip. Why so much charm? For starters, this restaurant is in a building that was once a British jail. We were literally dining in a former holding cell. Of course, you couldn’t tell – the only thing that gave it away was the graffiti on the wall left from the inmates held there. So cool.
The restaurant is run by this cute old couple that is talkative and friendly. On top of that, the wife plays the piano and sings like an angel. Oh, and the food is amazing. We had borscht and Georgian style dumplings. Highly recommend.
After a short stay living like a local in Istanbul, it really made Erin and I not only feel at home but feel like we could live in this great city. For that, I am truly thankful to Baylosuites, a great place to feel at home in Istanbul.
Oh and the clean underwear. I am also thankful for the clean underwear.
Although I was feeling at home in Istanbul with a press rate from BayloSuites,
the experience, opinions, and words are my own.