I don't want to quit cold Turkey

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September 22nd 2008
Published: October 12th 2008
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mouth watering dessert mouth watering dessert mouth watering dessert

Kadayif Dolmasi (i think) which is shredded pastry filled with pistachio or other nuts
Our arrival back into Istanbul was not a particularly joyous one, mainly because it was bucketing down with rain, we were suffering from lack of sleep, and it happened to be the coldest weather I'd had on my trip except when I was at 3500m above sea level in Kyrgyzstan (but at least it was sunny then)! Plus, we were still trying to get over our midly traumatic experience with the boys. To top it all off, when we got to our hostel, the guy didn't even take pity on us even though we were saturated and we weren't able to check in until after 12 and it was only 7.30am.

What better way to make ourselves feel better than to treat ourselves to a yummy breakfast in a nice cafe! After breakfast we walked through the empty streets of Taksim (everyone else was probably still enjoying the comfort of their dry, warm beds), but it was bizarre that a city of over 15 million people could be this deserted at 10am on a Sunday morning. We ended up visiting the Istanbul Modern Museum before retiring for the afternoon in preparation of our last night in Turkey.

A meyhane is a traditional Turkish restaurant/tavern that serves mainly mezze style dishes and when you dine at one of these, you generally accompany your food with Raki the unofficial National drink that happens to be alcoholic. Because of its aniseed flavour I don't really like drinking it, but you mix it with water to the strength you like and when drunk without other alcohol in the mix, apparently you don't get hangovers, no matter how plastered you get. Kind of like that top grade quality Vodka we had in Kyrgyzstan, not!

So we set out to find a meyhane and walked up and down a strip of meyhanes a couple of times before settling on one that served traditional Armenian inspired dishes. We devoured several sizeable plates of mezze that included delicious fish, salad and dips and washed it all down with beer instead of Raki.

As it was still raining, our intentions of having a fun night out were quickly squashed and all we wanted to do was have a cup of tea and head to bed! Such nanna's we are!!! We ended up at a cafe, drinking herbal tea and stroking a beautiful cat on our laps! We were back at the hostel and in bed by 10pm!

Today is my last day in Turkey and it feels strange to be leaving. I have just said goodbye to Pippa after our "last supper" which involved going to a local deli, and cleaning up several dishes of mezze, followed by a serving of baklava of course!

For some reason, I wanted to end my travels in Turkey by departing the way I arrived. I spent a fairly big chunk of time in Turkey, and feel like I have come full circle, and therefore seemed like the right thing to do. So I met Cumhur, we had dinner in Kadikoy, before I hopped on a sea bus back to Bakikoy Pier where I watched the sunrise on my first morning in Istanbul. From there, I got the bus back to the airport, this time much more confident in my ability to converse in Turkish, and completely fulfilled with so many wonderful experiences that this country has given me.

I'm not quite sure that I am ready to leave, although there have been a few times when I would have happily transported myself
The Galata Bridge The Galata Bridge The Galata Bridge

at any time of day you see fishermen line this bridge, but i don't think you ever see them catch anything!
back to Asia to get my fix of Asian food. But Turkey has definitely exceeded all my expectations in terms of the beauty, the culture, and the people that I've met along the way and there are still so many places that I'd like to visit that I will definitely be back one day.

Additional photos below
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operation fish burgers operation fish burgers
operation fish burgers

there are a row of boats that cook fresh fish burgers just near the Galata Bridge, they were yummy!
@ The House Cafe@ The House Cafe
@ The House Cafe

treating ourselves to a nice brekky
fruit on our doorstep fruit on our doorstep
fruit on our doorstep

$1 for a fresh OJ. fantastic!
turkish tea turkish tea
turkish tea

i love the tulip shaped glasses
Yerebatan SarnıcıYerebatan Sarnıcı
Yerebatan Sarnıcı

the Basilica Cistern
view from our hostel room view from our hostel room
view from our hostel room

you can just see the Aya Sofya and Blue Mosque
enjoying the sunshine in Istanbul enjoying the sunshine in Istanbul
enjoying the sunshine in Istanbul

we saw about 2hrs of it the whole time we were there!
whirling dervishes whirling dervishes
whirling dervishes

performing a "sema" a music ceremony and dance performance to reach "religious ecstasy"
Istanbul: a city of contrasts Istanbul: a city of contrasts
Istanbul: a city of contrasts

an old Ottoman style mosque sits on the Bosphorus, where a modern cruise ship docks.

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