After a 10 hour redeye flight and an additional 7 hour time difference- we hit the ground running. With only a little over 48 hours in Istanbul, we had scheduled our days efficiently and had no time to lose.
After dropping our bags at the hotel we went directly to lunch via recommendation from our concierge where we had some incredible local fair with the most gorgeous 360 view of the city. Tried the traditional Turkish coffee which was the smallest coffee I have ever had- it was like gasoline, in a good way, but I prefer Turkish Tea. We then walked into the city over the Galata Bridge where men would gather and fish. Underneath was lined with restaurants that would serve the fish on a bun with spices and lettuce, was not the biggest fan of this but was probably the only thing I didn't like the entire trip.
Next up: the bazaar's! The Spice Bazaar was by far my favorite as it was filled with things I have never seen in my life. Piles and piles of fresh spices, some which I had never even heard of, mounds of sweets, soaps, and incredible tea's went on as far as the eye could see. One of the coolest experiences I have ever had. We went to the Grand Bazaar afterwards and it was MASSIVE. We ended up getting lost which turned out to be pretty fun. The carpets and glass items were so ornate and delicate it was a treat just to look at everything. After a few hours in the markets we went home and got ready for dinner- another recommendation by our concierge. A tiny little place nestled into the hills of Istanbul, dimly lit and playing jazz from the golden ages, it was right up our ally. We also had our first Raki experience which is the official alcoholic drink of Turkey and tastes like black licorice, which I love so I thought it was delicious. It is traditionally mixed with a little bit of water and drank straight- which is exactly what we did, duh. Followed up our dinner and drinks with some hookah which was the best I have had. At this point we were borderline hallucinating from being so tired so stumbled back home and crashed. First day= success!