Hello Diyarbakir (and Goodbye, Istanbul)

November 18, 2013

Dear Family and Friends,

After a wonderful week with my mom in Istanbul, it was a little sad to leave her and head to the city where I am now, Diyarbakir. Yesterday was Fabulous. We avoided the Old City, which was such a relief because it’s such a pain to get there, and instead we did some things that locals recommended.

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First, though, I dragged my mom to another mall because I needed to go to just one more store! It didn’t take that long, AND we got coffee.

After that, we went to an area called Ortakoy, which is supposed to have funky shopping. The shopportunities were more of the same, (bracelets with eyes, scarves, more eyes) but it was a cool area.

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Also, we split an enormous baked potato with a whole bunch of stuff on it. Apparently you are supposed to do that. It was kind of gross but delicious at the same time. My mom has this funny story about how she vomited projectile out of an elevator in a fancy office building when she was a young attorney that I’ve heard 17000 times, but during the potato I learned that what she ate before that episode was a baked potato. Nice. 20131117_144901Needless to say she hadn’t had one in a while so this was special. After the potato that we couldn’t finish, we walked along the Bosphorus and took some pictures.

Our next stop was a fancy hotel for tea. They had pretty nice bathrooms. After that, we kept walking and eventually split a kabob on the street. The Istanbul Marathon had just finished in that area, so there were a lot of people walking around. After the kabob, we went to the Dolmabahce Palace. 20131117_134812We liked it better than the other palaces, especially the reception area for visitors. The harem, or private residence area, was still nice but not as glamorous. In the first area, there exists the largest chandelier in all of europe! At the palace we also saw a clock museum. That all took a while.

After the palace, we headed to another area called Nisantasi to walk around the fancy shops. It was pretty cold out and we were shopped out so we had coffee and chocolates and some serious ice cream. 20131117_192332Then we walked back to the hotel to pack. For dinner, we went back to the restaurant we visited on the second night to get the chicken roasted under salt. Very much worth going back for. It was the best chicken I’ve ever had and the second best chicken for my mom, second to a chicken in Paris. Of course. The restaurant remembered us and made a bread thing with my moms name on it. :).

This morning, we both had to wake up very early to get flights out of different airports. My mom flew to JFK and I flew to Diyarbakir. 20131118_153615I got to the airport really early, so had a nice breakfast of simit and cheese and vegetables and tea before checking in. The flight was easy, I slept and read. Now I’m in Diyarbakir back in work mode. The hotel is O.K. but the fitness centre is better than expected. I’m heading to the one and only mall tomorrow.

Love, Annie

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