Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Bosphorus Cruise, Spice Market, Best lunch at Ciya, Grand Bazaar, shopping and loving it....

Today we set off on foot to the Golden Horn where we enjoyed a tour of the lively spice market as the kids got to try various sweets like Turkish Delights and the adults sampled the various spices that come from the four corners of the world.  Saffron, cardamom, caviar, and much more can be found here.  

Shopping for a chess set at the Spice Market, Photo by Henry Swisher

Turkish Sausage and pastrami shop at the Spice Market, Photo by Henry Swisher

Craig, petting one of the hundreds of cats on the streets of Istanbul....
We picked up some spinning tops for the kids and they spent almost the whole day playing and competing to see who could spin their top the longest.

Rumeli Castle on the Bosphorus, photo by Henry Swisher
Next we headed over to the waterside where we boarded our enormous ferry and cruised up the Bosphorus between Europe and Asia.  As we cruised we marveled at the myriad of architectural styles that dot the shores on both sides and guests were amazed to learn that this is some of the most expensive real estate on the planet with prices ranging from 10-30 million dollars for a house with a view.  We passed palaces, castles, two suspension bridges, summer homes of the rich and hunting lodges of the Ottoman sultans.  

15 course lunch at our favorite restaurant in Turkey, Ciya Sofrasi, Photo by Henry Swisher
Lahm-i Kiraz, everybody's favorite dish today....
Our favorite chef in Turkey, Musa Dagdeviren
The big treat today was a stop on the Asian side in the Kadikoy District where we we met by Chef Musa at his fantastic local restaurant named Ciya.  We were treated to an amazing tasting menu as we sampled regional Turkish dishes that Musa has preserved and recreated here in modern Istanbul.  Our menu included various mezzes such as thyme salad, hummus, bulgur salad and our main courses featured sour cherry kebab and roasted lamb over grilled eggplant.  We were happy to see the kids were open to exploring this wonderful cuisine and everyone left completely satisfied and sated!!! 

Kids loved every bite at Ciya.... Happy kids, happy parents...
Fortunately this gave us lots of energy to attack the overwhelming Grand Bazaar back in the Old Quarter where the silk road has brought treasures from across Asia for centuries and the shop owners are expert bargainers.  

Karen and Maureen, shopping in the Grand Bazaar...
Tomorrow we are off to the Mediterranean to swim in the turquoise seas and hike to ancient temples along our route.  Our home will be a wooden yacht known as a gulet which is over 100 feet in length and made by hand of teak, oak and mahogany.  We can't wait!!!

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