Intro To Istanbul
Trip Start Sep 21, 2010
13Trip End Oct 07, 2010
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We quickly found that navigating was problem. Street signs are often absent or found halfway down the street rather than at the corner of where streets meet and many of the maps we brought only had larger streets visible. After a few kilometers of walking we reached a small cafe that fit our needs and we all ordered hearty breakfasts (essentially lunch or dinner entrees) with Turkish coffee and tea. The food here is amazing! Especially, if you are a meat lover.
Next we made our way to an area called Sultanahmet, the main sight seeing drag
From here we were off to the Hippodrome on the way to our Turkish cooking class. This area is essentially a large oval shaped road. In its day it was a huge stadium that seated 100,000 people. Now? It is mostly a park, with Egyptian Oblesik (made me think of home. DC, not Egypt), and the Serpentine Column, a pretty simple 1500 year old sculpture that was doing great until a drunken Polish nobleman pretty much ruined it in the 1700's
We put our heads together and gave ourselves plenty of time to find our cooking class, Cooking Alaturka. Eveline and Feyzi (pronounced Fezzi) walked us through some amazing, and surprisingly simple dishes (Red Lentil, soup, eggplant braised in olive oil, vine leaes stuffed with minced meat, and syrupy semolina sponge cakes with hazelnuts). It is a great idea to take a cooking class in a country with wonderful food, and early in the trip so that you are knowledgeable about the ingredients, food and culture for later. We finished dinner at 9:30pm and made the mistake of having Turkish coffee afterwards and almost all of us had trouble sleeping. Note to self: No Turkish coffee after 6:00pm or earlier.
Our first full day was great one!