It’s been several weeks, but I’m finally ready to blog the second part of our adventures in Istanbul. I realize now we had done so much on our first day there is less to write about. How many times can I write about drinking hot tea for an hour as we talked politics and philosophy before someone reading this starts an eye roll. Well, this is precisely what we did – and unashamedly so. We would wander into little spice shops off the street and Patrick would watch me attempt to curb my indecisiveness for long enough to pick a tea to bring home or a sweet to try. We also walked through the palace gardens again and had tea up on the cliff near the palace which had a fantastic and windy view of Asia.
For lunch we went into an Ottoman restaurant where we had more tea and dined on a vegetarian dish with some flat bread. I was especially interested in eating there because I wanted to sit on the huge pillows on the floor and get the full experience. Luckily our knees survived the cramped assault while we dined.
We would wander into little spice shops off the street and Patrick would watch me attempt to curb my indecisiveness for long enough to pick a tea to bring home or a sweet to try. I loved the spice shops and this picture doesn’t do them justice. The bright saffron and the aromatic teas would hit you the second you stepped into the shops. They were beautiful and vibrant and were full of smiling Turkish faces happy to help you make your purchasing decisions. Patrick really liked the Turkish Delights. We would buy a box of it each day and somehow the next day we were in need of another one. My favorites were the ones rolled in shredded coconut with bits of hazelnuts or pistachios in them. You can see some of the sweets from the spice shops in this picture.
We also had Turkish coffee! I would never miss a chance to try new foods and drinks when I’m in a new city and culture and the Turkish coffee we had in the street was better than I thought it would ever be.
One of the must sees in Istanbul is the Grand Bazaar. It is a fantastic shopping area with traditional Turkish items like tea sets and scarves and also a place to find a knock-off Burberry bag or Louis Vuitton shoes.
I’m ending this post with this picture because it wraps up me and Istanbul rather nicely. Sitting on a cushioned seat, in the middle of an alley, sipping warm tea across from the man I love.