Monday, February 18, 2013

Istanbul: Day 3

Monday, 2/18: 3 hour private walking tour and tasting lunch at Ciya (on the Asian side) with a really nice lady guide whose name we don't recall. We met her at the Spice Market. At the Spice Market, we ate cheese/a spicy cold cut; learned about spices from a very intelligent lady who let us sample a bunch of them. The spice lady had inherited the business from her family; went to college in upstate NY; is on Twitter and all. I'd def. go back there for spices. At a cafe nearby, we tried Turkish coffee and a sweet pastry that tasted like tiramisu mochi with pieces of chicken breast in it. I liked it. Then we took a ferry to the Asian side of Istanbul where we walked through the market and saw a sweets shop (beautiful marzipan), sampled pickles and pickle juice, and then to lunch. We ate a ton and took home leftovers. Then she showed us the outpost of the originator of the Turkish delight and escorted us to the ferry. The Asian side is the 'burbs (think NJ or the boroughs) to the European city's side (Manhattan) is what I gathered from her. We scaled the hill from the ferry to find the Cistern, but walked maybe 4 km in the wrong direction (uphill) before finding the place. And the Cistern was really cool! Then we got into a cab that basically tried to kill us. The cabbie tried avoiding 5:30 p.m. rush hour traffic by going up ridiculous hills (think of the steepest hills of North Bergen or SF or Oahu) in the WRONG direction. It was a little uncomfortable when we were pinned between a parked car and a gang of youths and had to back out; when we got close enough to our hotel, we walked the rest of the way. We ate snacks and room service.
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