Friday, April 10, 2009

First Morning - Istanbul

I'm writing this, 8am on my first morning back in Istanbul. The air is a little chill after the blue-sky warmth of yesterday but I love it. It's fresh, people are walking by and across the road the pharmacist … the eczane, is opening his store.

Istanbul is breaking open. There are new leaves on the trees and yesterday, tulips in full-bloom lined the coastal highway we took back into the city.

Did I mention how good it is to be back here?

Last night, Lisen and Yakup created a Turkish meze kind of meal for us. A cold meal of many plates, to be accompanied by Raki … it was delicious, as is most Turkish food.

The sweet flavour-filled tomatoes were cut into wedges, drizzled with good oil, basil and salt. There was a lovely potato salad with parsley and dill. A cold red lentil and bulgar patty that was so very good. We had a little Passchendaele cheese, brought in from the flatlands, served together with Turkish salami and a stringy Turkish cheese that is a huge favourite of mine. Olives marinated in some lovely concoction of herbs and oil, hummus, a yoghurt and herb dip, bread – with another saucer of herb-enhanced oil for dipping.

This morning, as I write this, Lisen is cooking my most favourite of Turkish foods – borek - layers of thin pastry cooked with cheese and herbs. My cup runneth over and we haven't been here 24 hours yet.

And having written such loving descriptions of the food, you need to know that the food isn't my big Istanbul passion. I love the city even more and today I'm heading into the city that fills another part of my soul ...

We'll be wandering in Taksim, with a visit to Robinson Crusoe – a favourite bookshop, the flower passage, Galata Tower for that 360 degree view over the city with the Bosphorus and the Marmara Sea below. Galata Bridge and the fishermen leaning over the edge, the probably through into Sultanahmet with Haghia Sophia, the Blue Mosque.

Today is a day for full-immesion in this stunningly beautiful crazy-busy city I love.

Photos to follow.

11 comments:

Gary Rith Pottery Blog said...

oh my, what a fantastic meal...

furiousBall said...

i love borek. i have an ant that makes it with cheese and broccoli, it's so darn good! have fun lady!

Barbara said...

Sounds like you're walking in a waking dream!!! So happy for you:)

Di Mackey said...

Oh, it was Gary. The Turks really know food and I'm always so food-happy here.

Oh Van! You have an aunt who makes borek??? I would be at her house every week I think. I love it with red wine and a little salt. Having the best time, thank you.

And Barbara ... oh yes! I'm exhausted tonight but so very happy. xx

paris parfait said...

Sounds like a wonderful beginning! So glad the trip is off to a great start. xo

ML said...

Oh I am jealous!!! I remember that food well... and all the people and sights there... I miss Istanbul!!! Anxious to hear it all!

Di Mackey said...

The first 24 hours have been grand, Tara. Today we're off into the city with Yakup and he's something of an expert about this city. I'm curious to see how it goes. xo

You would be loving this ML. I was talking of you yesterday, as we walked down the hill from Galata Tower, remembering that time you and I walked up the hill. xo

traveler one said...

Oh how I wish I was there with you! Sounds fabulous :)

Marianne said...

How I would love to visit Istabul with you for a guide. I've been three times and loved it thoroughly - but always felt myself to be sliding around on the surface of a pool that was deeper and richer than I could imagine. Enjoy.

Di Mackey said...

I'm sure I would love wandering Istanbul city with you, Marianne. We would be 2 Yeni Zelanda's here in the city of chaos and kindness, that post-modern place that is also so incredibly ancient.

Let me know next time you're heading that way :) Failing actually arriving there, I can surely put you in touch with some good people and places.

Di Mackey said...

Kim, your comment got caught in the back end of my blog for some bizarre reason, I only found it yesterday. I imagine I would also enjoy wandering with you :)