Istanbul…Heybeliada Island



I feel we are all islands in a common sea—Anne Morrow Lindbergh


If you are in Istanbul and want to take a break from the sightseeing and want to relax, then hop on a ferry and head over to Heybeliada Island.  This is one of the Prince Islands, the second largest one in fact.  It sits off the coast of Istanbul in the Sea of Marmara,about a thirty minute ferry ride away.

Heybeliada Island is a wonderful  place to meander through the streets at your leisure.   There are no cars, except for service vehicles.  The late afternoon sun gave us wonderful lighting to explore this island of wooden houses and store buildings, many built during the late nineteenth century.

I was drawn to a bygone time as I walked the hilly streets and thought of all the families that summered there away from the big city.  I thought about how much I have in common with these folks that desire to live on this island, where the cares of life seem far away.  The feel is definitely more relaxed here on Heybeliada Island and worth a day away from the city.

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Leaving the city of Istanbul behind for a relaxing afternoon.


The Greek Orthodox Church of St. Nicholas, built in 1857.


Orange Tree


Sandal Market


A shop now occupies one of the old houses.


Flower market.


Beautiful architecture of old houses. Many are now shops.


Taking a break to check out the activity on the street.


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In April on Heybeliada, wisteria was in full bloom.

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See the cat hidden behind the molding?

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A welcoming chair and table awaits on a deck.

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A ferry awaits to traverse the Sea of Marmara.IMG_2751

We had a late dinner on the pier before heading back to the Asian side of Istanbul.

Istanbul…Not just Turkish Delight Here

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Without effort, there is no food.—Turkish proverb

Like the history of Istanbul, this post is relatively long.  I am going to talk about all of the food we ate while staying here for five days…and I like to eat good food.

At one time Istanbul was on many travel lists as the most visited city in the world.

Though it has fallen some spaces on those lists, doesn’t mean the city has changed.  People’s perceptions of the city has changed and that is unfortunate, at least from my perspective.

My wife and I were in Istanbul, not so much as tourists but as babysitters for a week.  We flew in from Munich on Pegasus Air.  We went to visit some family and be with our granddaughter. We were in parks and playgrounds and did not see many of the traditional tourist sites.  We interacted with many people in shops, markets, restaurants, parks, and playgrounds.  Of course this was based on their ability to speak some English and our inability to speak any Turkish at all.  But let me tell you the people were very friendly.

But, again, this blog is about the food I ate in Istanbul.  I would go back for the food alone, even if my granddaughter wasn’t there.

We stayed in Kadikoy, one of the boroughs of Istanbul.  It is on the Asian side. It is considered the most secular area of Istanbul and the most artsy.

We began our first full day with a trip to the markets to procure elements to assemble a take on a Turkish breakfast.  This is no light breakfast, but probably healthier than most American breakfasts.  A traditional Turkish breakfast includes cheeses, breads with jams or honey, eggs, sliced vegetables or greens, and of course…chai tea. We had most elements but did not have the eggs.



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One of the local markets in Kadikoy.

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The bakery was intimidating for me, since I don’t speak Turkish.  My daughter-in-law has workable Turkish language skills and she was able to navigate the crowded local bakery.  I just took pictures and enjoyed the experience.  I was able to go back to this same bakery later in the week to get some bread for  lunch.  I went on my own with my Turkish vocabulary of four words and was able to buy the bread I wanted.  The staff was really nice to me.

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This is the end result of our shopping for ingredients for the Turkish breakfast.

On Mondays in one of the parks in Kadikoy, there is a pazar.  I was not prepared for the amount of food that would be on sale.  It was incredible.  I could have stayed there all day.

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Beautiful olives.

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The yellow plums on the right were one of the best things I ate in Istanbul.

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Artichokes in water.

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I believe these are mixed peppercorns.

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The biggest raspberries I have ever seen.


One of my favorite things we did was ride the ferry over to the European side of Istanbul. You can buy some chai tea and drink on the ferry. Very nice.

At the end of the ferry ride we bought some fresh anchovy fish sandwiches right off the boat.  They were served with some sour pickles.  I loved it, my wife thought it was a little fishy for her.

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Fresh anchovy fish sandwich right off the boat.


After touring some of the historic sites, I bought an ear of corn from one of the many street vendors.  Corn in my home of eastern Kentucky is a popular staple. You may question my desire to eat some in Istanbul, but good roasted corn is good anywhere… and Istanbul street vendors are no exception to serving good grilled corn and it is cheap and easy to get.

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We had a sweet, late afternoon treat, stopping for baklava and chai tea at Karakoy Gullouglu.


We had an evening meal at Banadura Adana Kebapcisi. The owner was very nice and he informed us that he used only tomatoes from his native region of Turkey around Adana. He served us complimentary salads with these tomatoes.  They were so good.  Our food here was extraordinary, a very lovely meal with good, friendly service.

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Salads with tomatoes from the Adana region of Turkey.

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Delicious bread as a starter.

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Really good Adana kebap at Banadura.

Our last afternoon, we took the ferry over to the island of Heybeliada, one of the Prince Islands of the coast of Istanbul.  It is a lovely place, reminiscent of days gone by.  We had dinner at Adaturka Kafe Restoran.  This restaurant was just ok, however I did like the fried anchovies, the kaffka, and the salad.  Unfortunately, this was my wife’s least favorite meal in Istanbul.

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A row of cafes on the boat docks on Heybeliada Island.IMG_2738 2

I loved the fried anchovies at Adaturka Kafe Restoran, my wife did not.

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The kofte was pretty tasty here.

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Meals at home were very good. My daughter-in-law fixed delicious food for us with wonderful produce from the Istanbul markets.

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I think I assembled this plate of delicacies.  So easy with good food to choose from.


You will be able eat very well in Istanbul, my taste buds are longing for a return.

Of course if you are looking for some Turkish Delight, I can think of no better place than Istanbul.