Sunday, December 22, 2013
My tour with Istanbul Eats - happy to be a customer instead of a leader that day!
Okay - now that you've tried the delicious bread, here's a sampling of food we saw on the tour. Unfortunately, Istanbul Eats does not provide a map,and the tour took place during my third full day in the city. By then I'd taken a private tour of Jewish Istanbul, with a wonderful guide who took me many other places as well and really help to orient me to the city. His name was Alp Aksahin and I can probably put you in touch with him if you ever plan your own tour. My second full day was the hotel cooking class. One of the women there was an American who knew Istanbul well, and she took me to see some landmarks near the hotel and showed me how to use the excellent light rail system. This helped a lot. But I was still figuring it out by the third day. But by then I'd already been to the Grand Bazaar (mostly dry goods - clothing, textiles, jewelry, souvenirs) and the Spice Bazaar. I took dinners at hotel restaurants on the street where Sarnic was located. These restaurants are on the rooftops - most of the hotels in the area were just four stories tall - but they overlooked the Marmara Sea. We were within view, as well, of the Blue Mosque, which was lit up at night, and I found that if I scheduled my dinner aroun d8:15 or so, at some point I'd hear the Muezzin chanting for evening prayers. An amplification system made it loud and mystical, revergerating agains the buildings. I missed two important destinations in Istanbul - the Byzantine church at Chora and Taksim Park. Next trip! You do have to pace yourself... especially with so much good (and, fortunately, healthy) food.