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  • - That is unbelievably good,

  • just the combination of everything,

  • the little patties, the fluffy loaf.

  • (energetic music)

  • Good morning everyone.

  • It's Mark Wiens with migrationology.com.

  • We just boarded our Turkish Airlines flight,

  • and we are flying to Istanbul this morning.

  • It's about 1:30AM.

  • I am getting really sleepy,

  • so I'm probably gonna sleep right now

  • until we take off, and I will hopefully wake up

  • for the food.

  • One of the things that is very important

  • and very famous is Turkish breakfast,

  • and I am having my first ever Turkish breakfast

  • on Turkish Airlines.

  • Got an assortment of cheese and vegetables,

  • some fruit, some olives.

  • I'm not sure what this is.

  • I think some sweets and some bread and some chocolate.

  • I'm gonna go.

  • And this is the piece of bread I chose,

  • a nutty little loaf.

  • Oh that is some good cheese.

  • And olive.

  • I just read on the menu, this is sun-dried tomato spread.

  • I think I will add that to my bread

  • and maybe go in for some cheese as well.

  • Those are like sour, tart tomatoes in jam form.

  • Oh yeah.

  • It's like a little mini pizza I just created.

  • And then this is honey comb.

  • Oh I've never seen honey like that before.

  • That is some good honey.

  • Sweet and very fragrant.

  • Now this is the main course.

  • I got the omelet with spinach and potatoes on the bottom.

  • Check out this little pepper bottle.

  • Omelets and pepper is always a good idea.

  • Dig into the omelet.

  • Oh that has a very nice kinda spongy texture to it.

  • (upbeat electronic music)

  • (flight attendant speaking in foreign language)

  • Okay, welcome to Istanbul.

  • I think it's sometime around five AM,

  • and we are exiting to take a bus to the terminal.

  • I was hoping since we arrived just after five AM

  • that immigration was gonna be pretty easy,

  • but it was packed.

  • We waited in line for at least an hour,

  • but we got through.

  • Now gonna grab our bag and then head into the city.

  • That being said, I am extremely excited

  • to be in Istanbul.

  • Because we're not in a rush,

  • we're gonna try to look for a bus

  • that's going to take us to Taksim,

  • which I think is straight up ahead.

  • That morning sunshine is wonderful.

  • Taksim.

  • - Two person?

  • - Two person.

  • We found the bus right outside the terminal

  • on the second lane, and it's called Havabus.

  • It goes directly to Taksim, and the price for the ticket

  • is 11 lira.

  • (upbeat music)

  • The bus took only 30 minutes.

  • Maybe that's because there was no traffic this morning,

  • and we are going to walk to our hotel from here.

  • Ying was feeling a little bit hungry,

  • so she wanted to stop into this bakery,

  • which is like right across the street

  • from where we got off the bus,

  • and we ordered a simit, which is the very typical bread.

  • It is a circular shaped bread with lots and lots

  • of sesame seeds.

  • Oh yeah.

  • Crusty on the outside, fluffy in the middle,

  • and then the sesame seeds.

  • It's all about the sesame seeds.

  • (upbeat music)

  • For the rest of this round the world trip for food,

  • the Marriott and all of the sub-brands, Marriott sub-brands,

  • are gonna be sponsoring the accommodation for Ying and I,

  • so in Istanbul, we are staying at the Ritz Carlton,

  • and we are walking there now.

  • Actually it's coming up very soon,

  • and yeah this is gonna be a real treat.

  • It's gonna be a nice place to stay.

  • It's only, it's a little before eight AM,

  • so I'm not sure if we'll be able to check in,

  • but we're gonna show up there,

  • see if we can get an early check in,

  • or at least drop our bags.

  • Hello, good morning.

  • I have a reservation for Marc Wiens.

  • - Sure, welcome to Ritz Carlton Istanbul.

  • - Thank you very much.

  • Okay, they allowed us to check in early,

  • so we got into our room, and wow this room is insane.

  • Not only the room, but check out this view!

  • I'm gonna give you a little quick tour of this room.

  • And I haven't even seen the whole room yet.

  • Here's a sofa seat, bed is right here in the middle,

  • and there is a desk and have no idea what that is,

  • so is that a, maybe some kind of shoe rack.

  • And this is the whole entrance area.

  • Oh yes, the little coffee station.

  • Oh, I'm gonna be using this immediately.

  • And then over to the left hand side here is,

  • where's the light, shower, toilet, sink,

  • tub on the side.

  • This is a really nice room, and the view

  • of the Bosphorus, oh I'm excited to be here in Istanbul.

  • I think for right now, we're gonna hang out in the room

  • for a little while, maybe take a nap,

  • we didn't really sleep much last night,

  • and then after that, we will go do something.

  • If it hadn't have been for the bellboy

  • who rang the bell, I think Ying and I

  • would've just kept on sleeping the entire day.

  • That bed is like a cloud.

  • Yeah we were definitely very tired.

  • It's already noon now, so we slept for two and a half hours,

  • but that was a very much needed sleep.

  • Yesterday when we were in Oman,

  • it reached up to 48 degrees.

  • It was burning hot, but today in Istanbul,

  • I just checked the temperature,

  • and it says it's 25 degrees.

  • I'm almost shivering, but this is like

  • perfect weather right now.

  • Oh and that breeze off of the sea.

  • Oh man, even the air feels so fresh here.

  • (upbeat music)

  • I didn't know where to eat our first meal,

  • but I was just doing some searching,

  • and I found there's a street food stall

  • which is very close to our hotel

  • located right across the intersection,

  • right behind those garbage cans,

  • and luckily, they are open right now,

  • so let's go check them out.

  • Oh yeah, you can smell that grilling meat.

  • Hello.

  • One chicken, one beef.

  • Is it called kofte?

  • Okay.

  • This is an amazing stall, and he grilled up the fresh,

  • kofte is like little little ground meat patties.

  • Quite a significant, thick loaf of bread,

  • and he cut it in half, he grilled it on the same grill

  • where the meat is grilling, so the bread

  • probably soaked up a little meat juice

  • and a little smoke.

  • He added in some chili, he added some peppers,

  • some tomatoes, handful of onions,

  • and some other herbs, and then seasoned it

  • with some more salt, and with some chili.

  • Thank you.

  • Want anything to drink?

  • Just water.

  • Just water is okay.

  • Yes, one.

  • Thank you.

  • The aroma of this is absolutely irresistible.

  • I'm gonna just give you guys a,

  • or let's all get a close up look at what's all inside.

  • Ooh, look at that.

  • It is just smashed within a fluffy loaf.

  • Oh those tomatoes look wonderful.

  • I'm gonna scoot a tomato forward,

  • so I get that on my first bite.

  • Okay, there we go.

  • Oh, kinda smash it down a little bit.

  • Oh yeah.

  • That is as good as it smells and it looks.

  • The little patties of meat are nice and salty

  • with a little bit of a spice blend to them.

  • That is unbelievably good,

  • and just the combination of everything,

  • the little patties, the fluffy loaf.

  • The tomatoes are wonderful.

  • The tomatoes are like smoky, but really juicy,

  • really really juicy.

  • We're standing for a little while,

  • but now we've managed to grab some seats

  • in the back of the stall, so not only am I eating,

  • but I have the whole aromatherapy of the smoke

  • from the grilling meat right behind me.

  • That is so wonderful.

  • It's so nice and salty, and then what I really like

  • is how the tomato, like the slightly cooked tomato

  • and the grilled pepper just sort of melt into the meat

  • and the bread.

  • That is superb.

  • Ying also loved it.

  • Ying had the chicken.

  • Oh that was so good, and the combination of a drink

  • and a sandwich cost 10 lira.

  • Oh that is given me just a complete positive,

  • wonderful, grilled meat experience

  • for my first meal in Istanbul,

  • and where we just ate, it seems to be a very popular spot

  • with taxi drivers.

  • Taxi drivers know where the good food is.

  • We are walking around now, stumbled into this

  • nice little green park

  • and trying to get across the park somehow.

  • So now we found ourselves in this beautifully shaded

  • little neighborhood park.

  • This is fantastic.

  • The air is so fresh and so cool,

  • and I'm loving this shade.

  • Even this is just a normal neighborhood park,

  • and it is wonderful.

  • Ying and I are just sitting here soaking up the shade,

  • the breeze, and the enjoyment after that lunch.

  • (upbeat music)

  • And we have arrived at Taksim Square.

  • (upbeat music)

  • But this is just a huge open square area,

  • and it is not open to traffic,

  • but it's only foot traffic, so it has this,

  • it has just a gigantic plaza feel to it.

  • (upbeat music)

  • Walking through Taksim Square,

  • it's such a gigantic open public space,

  • and there's always so much going on.

  • It's a great place to people watch.

  • There are some street food snack vendors,

  • there are lots of restaurants and cafes and parks

  • in this area.

  • What I really like is that the street is open air,

  • and it's like a giant open air shopping mall,

  • but there are buildings on both sides of the road,

  • there's an antique tramway that runs down the middle,

  • and you'll find all sorts of modern shops

  • and boutique shops, but at the same time,

  • some of the buildings are old

  • and historical antique buildings.

  • Oh there goes the tram.

  • There is a cafe along this street

  • that is supposed to serve some of the best Turkish coffee,

  • and so that's where I'm going to try to find next.

  • (upbeat music)

  • Mandabatmaz Cafe, and this is an amazing

  • little hideaway down a quiet alley

  • right off the main street, but it just has

  • a completely quiet, relaxed feel to it.

  • We got a table outside, and I just ordered a cup

  • of Turkish coffee.

  • This is the type of ambiance I think of

  • when I think of Istanbul, just an old alley like this

  • sandwiched between two buildings drinking coffee.

  • Thank you.

  • I've had Turkish coffee in other places,