Saturday, March 31, 2012
I don't know if I mentioned this prior, but I love public transportation! Particularly scenic public transportation. After hopping a ferry back to the European side of Turkey, we unfortunately missed taking a tour of Dolmabache Palace by 20 minutes or so. Being only a few miles from our hotel, we decided to walk back, that is, until I realized that we had't yet taken the tram. Istanbul is indeed better by foot, but at least one ride on any country's train/tram is a must!
Friday, March 30, 2012
I would have stayed over on the Asian side of Turkey all day. Flowers and gypsies. I almost didn't get back on the ferry, in fact, I shouldn't have gotten back on the ferry. These women and their botanical blossoms were visually enchanting.
Thursday, March 29, 2012
Best stumble-upon brunch EVER. I say stumble-upon because we literally stumbled into a line of people waiting to get into this bustling restaurant whilst on a nice stroll through Karakoy. Busy restaurant? Check. No audible detection of English? Check. Always two very, very good signs of a killer meal to come.
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Sure, a simple walk across Galata Bridge could be the deciding factor of your next meal. Not really because you'd like it to be, but because one of the very aggressive, yet sweet-talking gentlemen standing outside each establishment has literally tied you down and dragged you into his lair, I mean... restaurant. Don't get me wrong, it's a lovely walk across, but beware potential captors and swinging fishing hooks from above - yes, the top level is lined with fishermen. But being caught by a maitre d' or fisherman aside, it's kind of awesome that Istanbul allows that kind of liable coexistence on the bridge, sans waivers.
On a walk to the pier. In the top photo, I have no idea what she is rolling out, but thought it was a nice, quick snap. And although we preferred to walk most places, I have a weird fascination with public transportation, which explains the second shot - just liked the blending of train and pedestrians on a street that is hundreds of years old.
This also makes me very happy. A little later in the morning, the weather was so delightful that was had our coffee and morning cocktail on the balcony. The belief that you have to be on the beach or at brunch to have a morning cocktail is completely and entirely false.
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Monday, March 26, 2012
Removing your shoes is just one of the dress code requirements when entering mosques, the Sultan Ahmed Mosque, popularly known as the Blue Mosque, being no exception. And I'm not going to lie, standing in a beautiful 400-year-old structure in your socks is a pretty awesome feeling. However, standing in said architectural marvel with a hole in your sock is a really embarrassing feeling (Sorry, Mom!). Of all the days to not notice a hole in your sock...
Sunday, March 25, 2012
Imagine warm, soft, melt-in-your-mouth goat cheese. Imagine warm, soft, melt-in-your-mouth goat cheese baked in a sugary frosted Mini-Wheat shell... with pistachios on top. Ladies and gents, I give you the kunefe.
Saturday, March 24, 2012
This little gem deserves its own entry! Another food spotted on Bourdain's Istanbul No Reservations episode. Stuffed mussels! The mussel itself is packed with cinnamon and nutmeg-spiced rice, pine nuts and currants - presented in its shell.
While we didn't try the Turkish coffee that Starbucks had to offer, we did try a fine Turkish apertif called Raki with our dinner in Taksim. The anise-flavored national drink is often served with chilled water, either mixed or on the side, and is similar to Ouzo. I wasn't such a fan, but it was a delight to pair it with some fried hamsi - anchovies that are specific to the Black Sea. No, anchovies aren't my favorite either, but when in Istanbul!
Bottom photo: notice that little American gem on the bottom right! Hakan did tell us that Turkish Starbucks do offer Turkish coffee. And yes, we did mean to try it, but it just didn't make the top of the priority list.
Thursday, March 22, 2012
The first few photos of our day at Topkapi Palace. Just as an FYI: Unlike the Hagia Sophia, where I didn't realize that each audio-tour device had two headphone jacks (needless to say I was very upset that we had paid for two), you must purchase two devices at this palace.
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Besiktas fans stopping traffic on the street en route to the game. I should have ran to the other side of the street, but I wasn't thinking. Not totally sure what is happening here, but it was photo-worthy.
When in Europe... go to a football match! Besiktas vs. Braga. Our friend Hakan was awesome enough to go pick up tickets and attend the game with us. There was only so much I could shoot with a 70-200mm lens from our seats, but I did what I could!
Walking most everywhere, we found that there was too much to miss by taking cars and taking trains. Since I'm a sucker for public transportation, we took the train a few times, but I still think we both preferred to walk.