But still summer in the air.
Or at least there was on Monday when some friends and I decided to take advantage of the sun, sparkling water, and kind winds to go for a lunch at Lacivert (pronounced la-jee-vert).
Lacivert is one of the many balık (fish) restaurants that abound in Istanbul. It is also one of many that are right smack on the Bosporus, tables so close to the water, you could almost stick a toe in.
However, unlike any other – or most, let’s say, since my experience is admittedly still limited despite my enthusiastic attempts to eat my way through Istanbul’s main and numerous tiny side streets – this one has a boat.
Not any boat. It’s a lovely, comfy boat designed to pick up those of us who reside on the European side and gently transport us across the channel to the Asian side.
Unfortunately, our boat was experiencing a few mechanical hiccoughs on Monday.
(Who doesn’t have a few issues on Mondays?)
My neighbor drove us to Rumeli Hisarı where we parked our car and called the restaurant to have them send the boat for us.
Side note: Rumeli Hisarı (Rumelian Fortress, or Fortress of Europe) is a topic in and of itself. Nicely preserved and lovely (if you can describe a fortress as “lovely”), it was built in just four short months by generals racing to win the approval of Sultan Mehmet the Conquerer. Mehmet built the fortress prior to his siege of Constantinople in 1453 so that he could control traffic and supplies to the city. It was an effective tool, thus, its military days were short-lived. Mehmet conquered Constantinople after just a few months of siege. Since its military days, the fortress has also served as a toll booth, barracks, prison, and open-air theater. Today, you can tour the fortress, view photos, and learn more about this historic relic.
Not that we had time for educational and cultural pursuits. Stomachs rule, after all.
The boat was dispatched shortly after our call, and it was just minutes later that we saw the boat heading for us.
And heading toward us.
And still heading toward us, with no signs of slowing or turning.
(Of course, we were standing on the boardwalk, but, still, when a large boat is heading toward you, it’s still a bit intimidating.)
The boat did end up turning, however, too late and not sharply enough. It rammed the boardwalk, ripping off one of the bumpers in the process. It just missed a small boat innocently parked at the pier.
Then ensued some interesting exchanges between the captain and some men on the boardwalk; much throwing (and missing) of rope to try to secure the boat; and other activities that did not instill much confidence in our impending boat ride across the channel, no matter how short of ride.
(We were seriously questioning if the boat had mechanical difficulties or driver issues. Based on the rope throwing skills, it looked like the latter.)
Weighing potential outcomes – choose a different restaurant? take the boat and end up swimming in our high heels? – we came up with a capital (or capitalistic) solution: Hire another boat and driver.
Which we did.
Except the gentleman – who apparently was acquainted with our now-stranded restaurant boat guy – didn’t charge us a thing.
(And he wouldn’t accept a small tip either.)
So, we made it to the restaurant and had a lovely lunch by the sea, in the sun.
The food was excellent, too.
Unfortunately, all the pictures I took has my friends in them, so I can’t publish them. However, if you’re curious about it, you can visit the website: http://www.lacivertrestaurant.com/
If you do visit the website, you’ll see what kind of torture it is to live in Istanbul.
However, if it makes you feel better, I don’t lunch every day, and I DO a lot of work…
(In fact, my busy-ness has been the reason for no blogs and probably will continue to wreak havoc with my blogging, such as it is.)
…granted, I work for free, but it still keeps me busy and, yes, even delivers a certain amount of stress.
Not that I needed additional stress.
I am, after all, the mother of two teenaged boys. ; )