We were lucky enough to be invited to a wedding in Istanbul in September and while we were there, we decided to make a little holiday out of it. We went with our friends Tom and Carley as well as Sam’s uncle, so it was nice to go as a group. Plus, it was my first time to Turkey, so it felt extra exciting!
We flew from Gatwick Airport and arrived at our hotel by late evening. The flight was delayed so we had a longer journey than expected but I don’t mind spending time at the airport. I use it as a good excuse to get my steps in and browse the shops! Don’t mind me.
Luckily, Gatwick is HUGE and there’s Harrods, REISS and Jo Malone so they kept me occupied. There’s also an Itsu and a Joe & the Juice so I was fed and happy! After checking in, we had a stroll around the area, had a fresh fish supper in a local restaurant and headed to bed, ready for the wedding the following day.
We could appreciate the hotel properly in the morning, after we had a rest. So, we all enjoyed the sea view, breakfast on the balcony and the swimming pool before heading to the wedding venue. The hotel was in an ideal location and right next to the beach l even managed a quick run before we left!
The wedding was at Kemer Country Club and every bit as beautiful as I imagined a wedding in Turkey to be. It was brilliant to experience different wedding traditions and I was grateful to be a part of it. The hotel itself was gorgeous, with its enormous gardens, works of art and opulent interiors.
Today was our first full day exploring Istanbul itself. We visited the Hagia Sophia, one of the city’s most iconic sites as well as the Grand Bazaar, the Blue Mosque and the Spice Bazaar. We also spent time at the Basilica Cistern, an ancient underground water storage system and saw the Medusa heads, which were cool. Istanbul is so colorful, chaotic, and unique that it was great to wander around and take it all in.
I took the chance to try lots of Turkish food aswell including Borek (savoury pie with spinach and cheese), pide (flatbread or Turkish pizza) and my personal favourite, Künefe, a Turkish cheese pastry dessert. Ooh, and a clay pot stew which was made in a, you guessed it, a clay pot, and smashed in front of you. Can’t beat a bit of theatrics with your lunch!
This was our last day before heading home, so we made the most of it by going on a Bosphorus Cruise, which was an amazing way to see the city from the water. We got to see the shore lined with superb palaces, impressive mosques, and the tallest flagpole I’ve ever seen.
Istanbul is such an impressive, beautiful city and there is so much to see and do, I would love to come back again and make the most of it. I’d also like to explore more of Turkey itself, Cappadocia is high on my list.