Friday, April 13, 2012

Finally, spring has settled into the city landscape of bustling Istanbul.

Colorful tulips are blooming just about everywhere in Istanbul. You'll find them planted in the median of busy roadways, next to sidewalks, in planters and just about anyplace that has a patch of dirt. 11.5 million bulbs were planted in the city, according to the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality. 

It was a long winter here in Turkey so I think people are doubly happy to see spring arrive.

This weekend on the 15th, the7th International Lale Festival officially kicks off in Emirgan Park at the Beyaz Köşk. I probably will trek out to the park next week to avoid the heavy weekend traffic.
In the meantime, hubby and I took advantage of the warm weather on Sunday and strolled through the Ihlamur Kasrı (Pavilion of the Linden Tree), dating back to the early 1700s, in Beşiktaş. I wanted to photograph the tulip trees in the park before the rain destroyed these pretty pink blossoms this week.
It's hard to believe the Ihlamur Kasrı was completely covered in snow in January. Now, the park is full of Turkish families and young couples enjoying the springtime weather and taking photos, like myself, of the flowers.
The park in  Beşiktaş looks so different when it's not covered in snow!
There are several blooming forsynthia trees as well in the park.
A different perspective of a single red tulip in the park.
This lovely park may be small, but I think it's worth exploring if you happen to be in Beşiktaş, and especially if you stop by the Saturday pazar near the Migros around the corner.

Also worth noting is the park serves a hot Turkish breakfast buffet on Saturdays and Sundays, starting at 9:30 a.m. The cost is 20 TL, if I understood the lady correctly when I asked in Turkish.

I'm happy to enjoy a bit of green space close to home in Istanbul.
For more details on the Tulip Festival, please click here to see what's happening in Istanbul this weekend.

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BacktoBodrum said...

Ihlamur tea used to be very common in tea houses. I haven't seen it being served since I came back to Turkey.

I Must Be Off said...

Lovely! I love spring! Great pics.

Julia said...

Oh, I just love the pink blossom on those trees. Our tulips have been and gone. Hoping to catch the back end of the Istanbul tulips when we're up there soon! :)

Ozlem's Turkish Table said...

Merhaba Joy,
Lovely spring photos from Istanbul :) Our tulips in England came out too though we had a huge hale yesterday, hope they recover.

Loved reading your pastry career and blogs, will add your blog at the sidebar on my blog, look forward to more of your posts: )

jaz@octoberfarm said...

gorgeous. what a beautiful place! you must be loving spring!

Karen said...

This post was so beautiful, I finished it, and went right back up to the top to read it again. Stunning photos of spring in Istanbul - where nature can often seem far away.

Joy said...

@BacktoBodru, every now and then, ihlamur tea is served ast some cafes. However, usually you just need to buy it at one of the kuruyemis shops here in Istanbul.

@Christopher and Julia, thank you. Hopefully some of the lale will still be in bloom when Turkeys for Life visit Istanbul.

Joy said...

@Ozlem's Turkish Table, I love your site as well and was thrilled to find it. I really enjoy your recipes and reading about your chef-ing adventures in the UK. Nice to be in contact!

Joy said...

@Joyce and Karen, thank you for the kind comments! Istanbul is such a prettier city when it's in bloom. Hope to catch the lale in bloom at Emirgan Park this week, so more photos should be on the way. ;-)

Unfortunately, today it's raining. But April showers also bring May flowers.

Dolce Fooda said...

My wish - to visit Istanbul in spring.

Joy said...

@Dolce Fooda, yes, spring is certainly my favorite season in Istanbul. Early summer is good too, but you just won't see these type of display of flowers everywhere.