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  • Nadine Nasser

Winter trip to Istanbul

Updated: Aug 29, 2020

In February I visited my hometown and family in #Istanbul, #Turkey for my birthday. I had family time and met my friends. Besides I spent amazing time rediscovering the cultural and #historical sights, natural sceneries and authentic #culinary experiences.

I visited the lovely village called #Rumelifeneri near Sariyer district where I live on the European side.

The village is named after a local lighthouse ("Rumeli" means "Greek side" and "fener" is the short for lighthouse). Its Greek inhabitants named it Phanarion ("lighthouse" in Greek). The village dates back to the late #Byzantine era. Originally, the area used to be and still a fishermen's village hence sea plays a huge part of the culture of it inhabitants till date. Rumelifeneri also reminds me of those Scandinavian villages I see in movies, especially in winter. If you are visiting Istanbul dropping the map for Fener village below: If you are using public transformation you need to take the bus (in Turkey you need carry Istanbulkart, the integrated public transportation password with you if you'd like commute with buses, metro, ferries) with number 150 that departs from Haciosman metro station. You should hop off at Rumeli Feneri / Kale Caddesi Yönü stop.

At the village we visited this cozy #breakfast shop called Mendirek Balik Lokantasi. The food was yummy and hearty. Also their staff is very friendly. Here is the Zomato link if you'd like to visit: The delicious gooey cheese dish is called mihlama, a breakfast delicacy of Black Sea cuisine. You can call it Turkish raclette when in fact it is made with butter, kolot cheese (special to Black Sea region), corn flour (most commonly used flour type in Black Sea cuisine) and loads of butter.

After the breakfast, we visited historical Rumelifeneri fort ruins which was built in 1768 by a Greek engineer for the #Ottoman Empire possibly on older foundations. It is now in ruins. Before World War I, the village was inhabited by Greeks and had a church dedicated to St. George (possibly built on a Byzantine predecessor), and the hagiasma (sacred well) known as tis Tsirpinas now the inhabitants are dominantly Turkish people.

After, we had a special trip with my uncle where the was the captain. He co-owns a boat making company, and I experienced their first model that landed ever on sea for the first time - Chameleon (Craft) by NextMarine. He took us from Istinye Marina on European side, we sailed all across the Bosphorus to the Asian side. We passed by Anadolu Kavagi, Arnavutkoy, Bebek and Ortakoy. It was beautiful. I noticed how much I missed the sea breeze, the salty smell and seagulls.


I had a second video from my trip, focusing more on historical sight seeing with voice over (so, if you are interested in history, I am sharing some interesting facts). I visited the historical district of Sultan Ahmed Square which house renown monuments such as Blue Mosque (Sultan Ahmet Camii), Hippodrome of Constantinople and Hagia Sophia (Aya Sofya). I highly recommend you check it out!

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