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The Hippie Trail - Pudding Shop

The Pudding Shop is the nickname for the Lale Restaurant in Sultanahmet, Istanbul, Turkey. It became popular in the 1960s as a meeting place for beatniks and, later on, hippies and other travellers on overland route between Europe and India, Nepal, and elsewhere in Asia: the "hippie trail". Brothers İdris and Namık Çolpan opened the restaurant in 1957. Adem Çolpan, son of İdris Çolpan, remembers how "it was the time of the Vietnam War" and how many of the travellers just "lived for the moment… didn't think much of tomorrow."

In its first few years, the Pudding Shop was the only place in the area where direct transportation to Asia and tourist information on Turkey were readily available. With this knowledge, the Çolpan brothers put up a bulletin board inside the restaurant so that travellers could schedule rides with their fellow travellers and communicate with friends and family members. This board was very useful to the tourists, and eventually became notorious for the variety of personal messages that were posted alongside the transportation notifications.

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