Merhaba tatlılar–that’s “hi, cuties” in Turkish! Why Turkish, you ask? Well, I recently was lucky enough to take a quick trip to Istanbul and the Bosphorus in beautiful Turkey with one of my oldest and dearest friends, John Gidding.
Longtime Kuotes readers know that John and I go waaaaay back. We’ve been great friends for over 15 years and first got to know each other when we were 18 and starting out as young models, and then we did the design show “Knock First” together in our 20s, where we had a blast redesigning teenagers’ bedrooms. PS: I was only 23, and hence I was basically still a teenager myself…but I digress.
We always have a blast together, so when John suggested I tag along with him to Turkey recently (he’s Turkish American) while he visited some family members, I booked my flights and tickets within 24 hours, and said: “I’m jumping in your suitcase!”
“I’d like to use this post to celebrate the beauty, the artistry, the incredible array of scents and patterns that make Istanbul and the Bosphorus so magical. Istanbul embodies the amalgamation of centuries of different artistic influences from Europe, Asia, and coalesced with their own uniquely Ottoman opulence, creates a dizzying, intoxicating combination seen in architecture, interiors, and even their cuisine.”
Because a picture is worth a thousand words, read on for a photo diary of some of my favorite visuals from the fascinating country of Turkey!
Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar & Spice Market
First up is the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul. Historians call this wonder the Ottoman Empire’s first “shopping mall!” Today, it is a sight to behold and houses over 2,500 shops. There’s tea of every scent, color, and flavor; gorgeous Turkish textiles; and an endless wealth of inspiration–especially if you favor Global Bazaar style decor in your home (I mean, who doesn’t?).
I can’t resist a classic tourist pic when in a place as beautiful as Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar
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Gorgeous floral tea in the most brilliant shade of purple
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Jasmine tea rolled into little flowers in the Grand Bazaar
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Playing dress up with chic Turkish prints in the Grand Bazaar
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The Beauty of the Bosphorus
Given John’s Turkish heritage, he’s an amazing guide and knows all the best spots to dine out and enjoy the beauty of the Bosphorus in high style. The Straight of Istanbul is essentially the line where Turkey straddles Europe and Asia–so, there’s the area holds so much meaning and history.
We were lucky enough to have phenomenal weather for some boat time, sunset views, and delicious food at the waterfront restaurant Sea Salt Feriye!
With my dear friend and one of my favorite designers ever–John Gidding
We can’t resist a sunset selfie!
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I never say no to a boat ride–especially on the Bosphorus with my bestie John!
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Inspiration in Istanbul’s Details
Finally, I just want to share a few more visually inspiring images from my travels. One of my favorite things to do in any travel destination is snap detail photos of anything that sparks my imagination and creativity as a designer. Below are a few more scenes and sights that lingered in my memory…enjoy!
In love with the colors and textures in Istanbul
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The most beautiful tile work details
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Always in awe of the history and artistry in Turkey
Fun fact: When this gold grail was originally created, it was for the Sultan to sit behind and secretly listen to conversations on the other side!
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