I’m not quite sure about you but I seem to always find myself thinking “where was I a year ago today?” And you know what, a year ago today I was in Istanbul. Yes, you read that right, Istanbul. 4,827 miles away from this little island. Constantinople. East meets West. Old versus new. No wonder it’s the 5th most popular city to visit in Europe. In one word, Istanbul is magical.

One of my favorite past times is perusing travel magazines. Travel & Leisure, Conde Nast Traveler, Afar… I can’t get enough. Over the years, I have collected my travel stories of places I dream of traveling to in a binder and thus when planning my next adventure, I always have a go-to source. In a collected little piece from Travel & Leisure I was introduced to this amazing bakery Gram and immediately put it on the top of my list of places to visit. If you read my little blog regularly, you know I have a thing for bakeries.

365 days ago today I parted ways with my traveling mate, who was in the city for business, and ventured in a cab (with a non-English speaking driver) to Gram. Much to my dismay, the address I shared with the driver was not where I was dropped off. I got out of the cab with not a single idea of where I was. My heart raced. My palms started to sweat and for a minute I was quite worried. But then, I realized, these are exactly the moments I need. To not know my path or where I am. And one must remember that the worst thing to do while traveling alone is to look like you’re lost. So, off I ventured. I walked the city street for a good half hour until a kind gentleman inquired if I was looking for something (guess I stuck out a little more than I had thought). Thank god… someone spoke English! I let him know that I was looking for a bakery called Gram and he was shocked that I had even heard of this place. The good news was, I was right around the corner.

And what a lucky girl I was since I was becoming quite famished and needed some nourishment. When I saw the facade, I knew I found home. The picture above is just a peek into this little piece of heaven. The baked goods were breathtaking to look at and I loved the owners collection of cook books on display. It almost felt like you had walked into her kitchen. After much deliberation, I decided on a piece of banana cake and a latte. Simply divine. I have since tried to recreate this delicious cake but haven’t perfected it just yet. When I do, I promise to share.


If you are planning a trip to this magical city, do let me know. And I wonder… where will I be a year from now? Time will only tell!

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