Okay, so I wrote half this post and then lost all my progress. So the first half may be a bit brief due to my frustration at having to rewrite it.
Today was our first experience with Turkish breakfast. I meant to take a picture, but didn't have a sufficiently wide-angle camera lens to fit in the cornucopia. I can recall (most) of the foods present, though:
- Four types of cheese (fresh and aged kashar, a mozarella-like string cheese called chechil, and some herbed cheese)
- Black and green olives
- Tomatoes and cucumber slices
- Clotted cream topped with raw honey (divine)
- Tahini mixed with grape molasses (delicious)
- Almond butter
- Some sort of tzatziki variant
- Olive tapenade
- Hard boiled eggs
- A mix of wheat flour, walnuts, and honey called kavut
- Some other things I'm blanking on or can't describe well.
All this was accompanied by limitless tea and fresh bread. For less than $20 US for the pair of us. Phenomenal. Shout out to Van Kahvalti Evi. We ended up going back twice since it was so good and quite close to our apartment.
After breakfast we swung by a drug store on our way out into the city. For some reason, cats are everywhere in Istanbul. I guess they're technically strays for the most part, but they seem generally well-fed, happy, and happily tolerated by the city's primate inhabitants. Anyway, "everywhere" happened to include the drug store we stopped in, so I had to take a picture.
We spent the rest of the afternoon on a quest to find and explore the Besiktas market. It was enjoyable to just be able to walk around a city easily, and walk we did. We saw some more or less interesting things on the way, and I took a few pictures.
The market itself was quite interesting. Not quite what we expected. There was a large farmers market type area (as expected) but also a large area selling all sorts of household good, clothing, etc. Almost like a Wal Mart or Target but all consisting of individually-owned, outdoor stalls. The produce was more interesting than the knock-off Gap gear, particularly for those used to reduced variety and questionable quality and safety.
After the market we hiked back to our apartment, with plenty of interesting sights along the way.
I forget what we did for dinner that night. There is a Shake Shack in Istanbul (actually, there are three!) and we definitely made our pilgrimage to it at some point, but I can't recall on which evening. Yay America(n food)!
On to Day 3! Hopefully with less gap than last time (I was pretty sick last week so didn't feel up to posting).