Monday, 6 October 2014


By my own fault I had imagined Constantinople and not Istanbul. I had pictured a layer of gold gleaming across the city, opulent mosques and churches bordering on lavish little streets and fantastic markets. Instead, a vast modern city spread endlessly before us with its accompanying stench and filth.

The highlight, undoubtedly, was the food. By God, the food!
Everyday started out with a large Turkish breakfast at out hostel (9€ for the night including this very breakfast): thick yogurt, muesli, slices of watermelon, grapes, feta cheese, tomato/carrot/cucumber salad, fresh bread and various spreads with coffee and an endless supply of Turkish tea. This tea is brewed strongly in a tiny teapot,  then diluted with hot water to suit the individual drinker's preference in tea-strength and served in small glasses with sugar klontjies.

For lunch and dinner my friend and I tried everything:

The only breakfast we paid for: a cheese omelette with bread, feta and salad.

Hazelnut and pistachio baklava. 
Snacktime on the Bosporus boat ride. 
Wonderful goat's milk ice cream at Mado.
A churro-thing with pistachio. 
The best grilled lamb in Istanbul. 

Kokoreç, or what I now now to be "lamb or goat intestines, often wrapping seasoned offal, including sweetbreads, hearts, lungs or kidneys". Thank you Wikipedia. It was really tasty though. 
Mince Pide. 
Börek filled with cheese. The only vegetarian thing we ate during the entire trip. 
Manti, or Turkish ravioli, with a yogurt sauce. Delicious. 
Waffle with Nutella and strawberries. Don't mind if I do. 
Weekly market

Fresh orange or pomegranate juice. 
Lamb (I think it might have been liver), köfte and chickpeas. 
Caramel dondurma, or an elastic ice cream that involves an entire game with the ice cream vendor. I was not amused but my friend thought it was very funny. Here is an example. 
Our last meal: döner. 
Even though I only just realised what some of the things I ate were, it was all extremely well spiced, tasted marvelous and was very affordable. Next time we head to Turkey I would suggest skipping the city and only going where your stomach takes you.

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