On Monday morning we were met by Kathy again and headed out for our “Foodie tour” where she had promised us that we would “graze” our way thru the Spice Markets…..YUM!!!!
We took the tram to Eminonu station and walked past the “New Mosque” which was where we had gotten lost several days ago.
There was a huge plaza filled with pigeons and, of course, there were vendors selling trays of bird seed……
As we entered the Spice Markets we were greeted by the cacophony of smells and the usual mixture of shops with each having a specialty…..
….lungs, stomach or feet anyone???………
The proprietor carefully bagged up our choices and then vacuumed sealed them so that they could enter the country. Here he is dishing up a bag of dried figs….. When I pointed to tea leaves and said that I wanted to purchase some, he pointed to a bag and said that it was better quality AND cheaper, and was what the local’s would buy.
This is a shot of one of the corridors of the Spice Market. Interestingly, we were confronted with hawkers much more here than in the Grand Bazaar…guess we looked hungry!!!!
I loved this Turkish Coffee container…….
…and medicinal leeches of all sizes are available…..
At this point it had been about 15 minutes since we had eaten so Kathy proclaimed that it was time for more food. Fish this time. She ordered a plate of Hamsi (Sardines) that were being freshly fried as we watched…….
Here we are before starting the feast…….
In preparing for our ferry ride to the other side of Istanbul, Kathy suggested that we purchase a Simit to feed the seagulls with. Knowing how good they are, it was very hard not to eat it myself….. We once again hopped on the Ferry and headed across the Bosphorous Strait to the Asian side of Istanbul. Kathy pointed out various landmarks as we sailed, including this hospital where Florence Nightingale served during the Crimean war……
As we were coming into port, I saw a streak of grey moving in the water and realized that there were several dolphins gamboling around the ship. As they continued to play, more and more people moved to our side of the Ferry and the mood lightened visibly. Nobody can be mad when dolphins are around!!
Since it had now been over 30 minutes since our last food ingestion, Kathy suggested a fun spot for a touch of something to drink. She and Michael both had coffee, but I opted for lemonade that had mint in it. It was cool and very refreshing . Besides, who can say no to a curly straw!!…… We sat in an upstairs room that had interesting, eclectic furniture….. We walked past this tray of stuffed mussels and asked Kathy if we should try one. She smartly talked us out of this particular tasty treat…..
…..well, TEN items to be exact……
We enjoyed eating out of metal bowls and trying various Kurdish delicacies such as Meatballs and Cherries, Stewed Artichoke, Yoghurt Soup with Meatballs, Bulghar Balls, Stuffed Grape Leaves, Stewed Spinach, Yoghurt, Celery Root and Stewed Beans.
At this point, we were ready to sit and relax and quickly found a Nargile shop where we could do just that…..and smoke a water pipe at the same time. Kathy sat with us for a while and, after making sure that we knew our way back to the dock, said goodbye.
As we walked back to the dock, I saw several men selling little slips of paper. I found out the next day that they were lottery tickets!!!
It was extremely windy and I can’t imagine how he kept them from blowing away!!
As we traveled back to our hotel, we discussed the fact that we really enjoyed the Asian side of Istanbul more than the European side, probably because it is so much less touristy!!
The day ended with the requisite “Terrace Time”!! We needed all of the rest time possible because tomorrow WE PACK!!!!