Half asleep, we depart from Istanbul at 6:45am for a day trip to Bursa, the forth most populous city in Turkey and home of Ozdilek, a top 10 towel manufacturer and shopping mall and movie cinema developer.
After a quick stop at a local Ozdilek mall along the way (how fitting!) we arrive at the Ozdilek headquarters and are greeted by the company Chairman himself, Mr. Hüseyin Özdilek. Mr. Özdilek is a warm, genuine man who smiles as he speaks to us in Turkish (big thanks to Gozde for being a superstar translator!) and leads us on a tour through his impressive factory and tells us of his journey to building a successful company, including future plans for global expansion and opening additional Ozdilek branded stores.
After the tour we visit the birthplace of the iskender kebap, (in my opinion) the a tastier version of the doner kebap. In short, the iskender is prepared from thinly cut, grilled lamp basted with hot tomato sauce over pieces of pita bread and then served with melted butter and a thick yogurt.
Stuffed from lunch, we embark on a chilly tour of downtown Bursa, including a visit to the burial place of the founder of the Ottoman empire and a stroll through the Silk Bazaar.
On the bus ride home, we enjoy a Bursa specialty of candied chestnuts (delish!) and make plans for the evening, which include a visit to nightclub Anjelique, with gorgeous views of the Bosphorus.