If you’ve never been to Istanbul, you’ll want to go after reading this post. Why? Because we had one of the coolest, most unique experiences we’ve ever had in our travels. Usually in our posts we discuss a couple different places or experiences we’ve had, but this post is dedicated to one in particular.

One of the most interesting facts we stumbled across is that Istanbul straddles Europe and Asia across the Bosphorus Strait. Pretty cool to think about being on the border of two continents, right? Well, we thought so! Aside from this fun trivia, we decided the one thing we had to do while in Istanbul was dine at an old cistern. If you’re unsure of what a cistern is (we know we were), they’re freshwater reservoirs which were set up to supply water to towns and households. We found a restaurant called Sarnic Restaurant, which used to be an old cistern. We weren’t sure what to expect but were excited to find out!

When we entered Sarnic, we were astounded by the beauty, the architecture, and the ambiance. It looked like a medieval castle inside, decorated with swords, plate armor worn by medieval knights, ornate table cloths, and dozens of large candelabras dangling from the ceilings. The room permeates old romance and immediately transports you back in time. After we looked around in awe for what seemed like hours, we sat at our tables. Just a heads up, you must make reservations ahead of time.

The service was as polite as could be, and the food was wonderful. Fresh baked bread was served to every table, and the turkish cuisine was perfectly fitting for the atmosphere. Steaks, kabobs, and heavy sauces were exactly what one would expect to eat in such a sturdy and historic venue.

After dinner, we walked around the grounds outside and discovered another bit of ancient history at our feet! Have you ever heard the phrase, “All roads lead to Rome?” We know what it means, right? There are many different ways to accomplish a task and achieve the same result…However, did you know its origin? It goes back to Constantine the Great who rebuilt the city and created the new capital of the Roman Empire. He created a three arch gate from which the main thoroughfare and thus all roads “began”. Literally, there were many different roads, but they all lead to Rome. One small stone pillar remains of this gate – which was truly the center of the world for a thousand years. If you go to Sarnic, be sure to look for the pillar – the Mile Marker 0 of the Roman Empire!

If you ever find yourself in Istanbul, we highly recommend making a reservation for dinner at Sarnic. You won’t be disappointed! Safe travels!

– Brooke and the Global Access Team