Friday, October 22, 2010

This past weekend, we took our first drive up to the Black Sea.

We selected the small village of Kilyos, about 35 km or 22 miles north of the Galata Bridge, as our final destination. This northern suburb of Istanbul faces the deep waters of the Black Sea and apparently is a popular getaway spot during the summer. 

In less than 45 minutes, we had traveled from the city center through the Belgrade Forest and arrived at Kilyos, also known as Kumköy which means sandy village in Turkish. Our location here is perfect because we are able to see different parts of the world that we have never seen before.
Upperview of the Black Sea
The weather finally cooperated. The rain stopped. The slightly overcast skies let the sun peak through now and again. It was a beautiful day to retreat from the city.

The forest is just beginning to show signs of autumnal bliss. The 5,500 hectares of woods are home to Istanbul University's department of forestry as well as rural communities and recently luxury housing and private schools. Along the sides of the road, we saw several groups of people carrying buckets and blankets and collecting nuts from the woods.

Speaking of the road, it’s a very winding stretch of pavement. Of course, my husband likes to think he’s driving on a race track and take the curves faster than I would like. Great fun!

When we arrived in Kilyos, we found an otopark. We walked on the beach, which unfortunately was strewn with a lot of litter, but you still could appreciate the beauty of the chilly Black Sea.
Seashells along the seashore.
Located near the water, there are several hotels, guesthouses, restaurants and small cafes. The area was fairly quiet, but then started to fill up with more people by 1 p.m.

For lunch, we ate at a restaurant, which I forgot the name of, that had outdoor seating and a great view of the water. We had a yogurt-dill dip and stuffed grape leaves for mezzes.

Then, we shared a Çoban Salatası and a levrek (sea bass) as our main meal. For dessert, we tried Kabak Tatlisi, a traditional Turkish dessert of pumpkin poached in a sugar syrup and garnished with walnuts. It was a delightful meal and a great day out of the city!
A different version of the Çoban Salatası 
This weekend, we are hosting our first U.S. visitors to Istanbul. I’m excited to show off our new city! Stay tuned for more Turkish adventures.
The Kilyos mosque

Tagged: , ,


Anonymous said...

I hope to make a trip to the black sea soon. It sounds like this is the time to go! Great photos!

Unknown said...

Joy...your blog is AMAZING!!! Your writing is as fantastic as your food, which is only rivaled by your photos. As I read through the pages, I can smell the Sea and the forest, but looking at the photos makes me HUNGRY!!!

serkan said...

I had been recommending those parts of Istanbul to Jason for weeks :) There are much nicer villages than Kilyos, such as Garipce & Uzunya. You should definitely see them as well in nice weather and try fish (especially "hamsi") & traditional food of Black Sea Region of Turkey. Generally, corn flour and homemade butter are used when cooking and there are really very good traditional food; such as Muhlama (Cheese, Corn flour and lots of butter) and Karadeniz Pidesi (like pitta, but filled with cheese, meat
etc.). And you are right, those areas become hot spots during summer with their beaches in the middle of Istanbul.