Tyler goes to the Grand Bazaar

…and the Galata Tower to overlook all of Istanbul at dusk.

Yesterday we went to the Asian side of Istanbul for two amazing meals and a great tour of the neighborhoods. I like the Asian side a lot better because it seemed way less hectic. I wish we could have had more time there because there was one street filled with second hand and antique stores that would have been fun to shop at. However, we did eat an amazing lunch at a restaurant famous for gathering old recipe it’s from all over Turkey. I had a rice and chicken stuffed pastry, some spinach, and couscous balls, and sampled friends meals of quince stuffed with beef, as well as some pumpkin rice, and bulgar. As if that weren’t enough we then went for a cooking class. We made leeks with carrots; dolma, which in this case was ground beef, onions, and some tomato paste rolled in Swiss chard; Muhammara, an incredible spread made of roasted red peppers blended with walnuts and stale bread and olive oil (absolutely delicious); philo dough wrapped around feta cheese, parsley, and chives; and bulgar, a grain similar to couscous, made with tomatoes and other seasonings.
Sounds good, huh? Of course I don’t have any photos that I can share now. I am sincerely sorry, it was truly an amazing culinary day.

Today we had a free day so went on our own exploring the Blue Mosque, the Egyptian Spice Market, the Grand Bazaar, and Galata Tower. It was definitely a full day but we got a lot accomplished, including some souvenir purchases and hearing all of the calls to prayer from one of the highest points in the city.

Tomorrow will also be great- we are going on a cruise up the Bosphorus (or down, I’m not sure, but we all know how much I love the water!!) and during our free afternoon we are going to go to the Turkish baths!!

We only have a few days left in Istanbul before we head on our road trip to the coast, but I’m sure they will be wonderful and full of great food, company, and more baklava. 🙂

Photos: various parts of our ferry ride yesterday to Asia, including me on the back of the boat; SO MUCH BAKLAVA; Tyler at the bazaar and at the top of the tower;a sample of some of the food I have eaten (really only two meals have been mediocre)

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