Tuesday, January 1, 2013

I hope everyone had an enjoyable New Year's Eve and is spending today relaxing like I'm trying to do.

For us, we shared a homecooked dinner of honey-mustard pork chops, scalloped potatoes and roasted Brussels sprouts with our friends. We wanted to have a low-key night and catch up with my friend's wife who just returned from a two-month visit in the U.S.
Yes, those are real pork chops! We finally discovered the elusive pork butcher in Dolapdere.
Shortly before midnight, with a glass of homemade egg nog in hand, we wandered down to Beşiktaş because I wanted to see the fireworks along the Bosphorus. Last New Year's Eve, I was on the couch with a miserable sinus infection, and 2010 was the year we celebrated with Raised Glasses at 35,000 Feet. This year, I did not want to miss the fireworks!

The Beşiktaş iskele area was busy with people but was not too crowded. Revelers were wearing Santa hats, drinking beers outside and even lighting some sparklers. There's a lot of university students in this neighborhood, and they were having fun just like we were. Hubby smuggled over a bottle of champagne, which we popped open right before midnight.
Unfortunately, the spectacular fireworks display I was hoping for was practically non-existent. We saw a few fireworks light up the dark sky, but that was it. I'm unsure as to what happened.
Well, we still enjoyed ringing in the new year with our friends and people watching. One unexpected thing we saw was people lighting these colorful paper lanterns and setting those off into the sky. This is something I would expect to see in Asia but not Turkey, but I guess most of the country technically does fall on the Asian continent.

We ended up getting home a lot later than we planned, but a good time was definitely had by all of us!

2012 was a busy year for us with trips to Bozcaada, Mount Nemrut, North Cyprus and Italy. We took a trip every month like we planned. At least, that's always been our goal since we've been living in Istanbul.

Though we haven't booked any flights yet for 2013, I'm sure we'll be packing a suitcase soon to go somewhere. Thanks to all my readers for tagging along on our adventures!

May your 2013 be filled with new adventures and good food! Happy New Year!

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Alan said...

. . a 'Joy'ous New Year to you and yours.

jaz@octoberfarm said...

happy new year joy! what a wonderful way to celebrate and i am so happy you found pork!!! joyce

Unknown said...

I love that you always grab the moment. I wanted to wander down to Beşiktaş too but was put off by the thought of making the kiddos cold and miserable so (as often is the case) it is lovely to see how it was on the your blog. Really looking forward to see what you get up to this year. Happy 3013 Joy.

Manya said...

So happy to see that you have found the pork butcher - those chops look great! I wish you happy safe travels this year. How about a trip to the east (Trabzon, ishak Pasha, Van, Mardin and Gaziantep? Must taste that special baklava and katmer.

BacktoBodrum said...

I too was a bit confused about the lanterns last night. I thought they were very slow fireworks at first. They are very popular in the UK now and I think Turkey's just following the trend. I was horrified a couple of years ago when someone planned to light one in the middle of August. Just what we need - naked flames over tinder dry forests.

Unknown said...

How were the chops? I have never succeeded in finding that pork shop!! Anyway, Happy New Year to you Joy! When are we going to have that çay??

Joy said...

@Alan, Happy new year to you too!

@Joyce, I'm happy we found pork too. Great leftovers today! Happy new year and enjoy your snow!

@Julia, glad you could experience the night through my photos! I was surprised to see quite a few young kids still out at that time with their parents. Happy 2013 too!

Joy said...

@Manya, Yes, the pork guy does exist! We did visit Gaziantep this summer too, still have photos/posts I'd love to do about it. But the Trabzon and other Black Sea areas definitely are on the wish list for this year!

@BacktoBodrum, interesting thing about the lanterns! Happy someone didn't follow through with their ill-planned summer lantern lighting. Yikes!

@Claudia, the pork chops were really good. Small, but nice and tender. We paid 80 tl for about 2 kilos of pork chops and loin. I'll pass along the info to you. You definitely need a car/taxi to reach him. And definitely soon to the çay I hope. ;-) Happy New Year to you!