An Amazing Trip to Istanbul

Back home after 10 days in Istanbul, two sisters together working and having fun!  We planned our trip in February, months ago, but feel grateful we were able to travel together for Beksan Designs and to see friends & family.  We are soooo excited about sharing some highlights of our trip with you! Prior to leaving, we had emailed our artisan colleagues some creative, new designs and asked for some less common semi-precious stones.  We were happy to hear they could find the stones and we worked closely with them to create some beautiful jewelry pieces.  We were fortunate to meet a new, young artist who is skilled in creating Ottoman designs with high quality gemstones and metals!  His work is magnificent and one of a kind!  We can’t wait to share the new pieces and designs with youJ!! We spent most of our days working with Beksan Designs’ artisans and manufacturers, but in our off time we were able to get together with childhood friends, see a few sites/areas that were new to us, and eat some amazing food!  We wanted to share some highlights of our trip with you:
  • Love the hotel we stayed at, The Niles Hotel in Beyazit, set on a quiet street near the Grand Bazaar.  The staff was incredibly welcoming and the room was perfect for us, roomy, very quiet, and clean.  And included was a delicious buffet breakfast.
  • Great Turkish food, and on this trip Meyla realized the reason we enjoy it so much is because of the “ingredients.”  The food is so “fresh,” and flavorful, perhaps due to both how it is cultivated and prepared. Whatever the means, vegetables, fruits, fish, and poultry are truly delicious!  Nevra particularly savors all the different lamb dishes in Turkey.
  • Amazing view from the Galata Tower, built in 507 AD!  First time going to the top of the tower with friends last Sunday….wow amazing views of Istanbul.  It is such a beautiful city and in some ways reminds us of San Francisco with the waterways all around it.  From Meyla: “I do have to say I was a little freaked by how high I was at the top of the tower but at the same time thrilled with the amazing 360 degree views.”
  • Enjoyed a wonderful afternoon/evening on the Asian side of Istanbul and went to places we had never seen before.  One area we visited was Camlica, the highest peak in Istanbul.  After sightseeing, our friends made us an incredible dinner and we felt so welcome in their home, it felt like we were living there!
  • We also had a lovely dinner with one of our manufacturers, but we were startled by the amount of traffic to get to our destination,  “The House Café” in Ortakoy.  Loved the fresh salad dinners they prepared, Meyla had hers with chicken shish kebab and Nevra with levrek, a popular local fish. The area is extremely popular at night and it’s right on the Bosporus straits!  You can see the Bosporus Bridge in the distance.
Fun times together in a place where we grew up, speaking Turkish with everyone around us!  Nevra’s Turkish is incredible and I loved seeing and hearing her come alive in Turkey!  We listened to music, danced, and enjoyed each other’s company throughout the whole trip!

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