After what feels like an eternity, I am finally back here in Istanbul and it is every bit as wonderful as ever. The last time I came it snowed nearly every day, and while I relished warming my hands on a hot cup of sahlep on the way to work, with the smell of roasting chestnuts thick in the air, spring is the time to see this city as it’s beautiful best.
By the time I arrived here last week, spring had already taken Istanbul by storm. The April tulip festival was coming to an end, but the city is still ablaze with blossom. It’s warm but not burning, and the air still feels fresh and clean. Today, M and I drove over to Belgrad Ormanı, a huge forest to the north west of the city where you can walk, jog, bike and picnic. It’s a riot of green, full of shady paths and dappled clearings, where you can totally and utterly forget that you are in one of the world’s most populous cities.
But enough of that for now. I could go on and on for hours about the many reasons why Istanbul is my love (sevgilim means ‘my love’), but this is not the place. I’ve already got a whole host of posts to write up – perfect rice from M’s mum (it has totally blown my mind), an incredible musaka and many more.
For now, I’ll leave you with a little taster of what I had for dinner today. A pot of thick, creamy Turkish yoghurt with honey and powdered sugar, from the wonderful Tarihi Kanlıca Yoğurdu. #heaven