About a month ago, David and I took a quick weekend trip with some friends to watch the San Antonio Spurs play Fenerbahçe Ülker in Istanbul. It was a really quick trip – we left Saturday morning and returned Sunday evening. The basketball game was the only thing on our agenda, which left the rest of the trip to be a relaxing time to enjoy the city.
The view from our hostel was awesome:
The game took place on a Saturday evening. I think it might have been the first professional basketball game I’ve attended. I found it interesting that almost all of the entertainment was provided by the American team. The Lords of Gravity were really cool. They did a bunch of crazy dunk stunts with trampolines. The Spurs won 96–90.
We slept in Sunday, walked around the Sultanahmet area a bit (with no street sahlep to be found… sad day), stopped by the Spice Bazaar, and made our way to Beyoğlu and Taksim.
We stopped briefly at a cultural building that had an exhibit on Turkish coastal towns. I loved this display of newspaper headline clippings:
Where we stayed:
This was our first time staying on the Asian side. We spent a night at the Hush Hostel Lounge in Kadıköy. We found it to be very clean and modern. The only thing we disliked was that our room smelled like smoke. It was supposed to be a smoke free, but the people who stayed in the room before us must not have followed the rules. Also, worth noting because this is Turkey: the breakfast included filtered coffee.
Where we ate:
We grabbed döner and lahmacun at a couple of street places. We also ate at Shake Shack near Tünel. It had the most delicious, greasy, American burger I’ve had in Turkey. And the custard? Oh so good.