Musings and walkings
15.02.2010 42 °F
First AM. Time to stretch the legs and get acquainted with this place.
Some roasted chestnuts. There are carts all over. Last time I has these was in Paris many years ago. My ancient memories of roasted chestnuts was my father buying them outside the musuem of Natural History in NYC a long time ago, and far away. A journey you can never repeat. Chestnuts were a treat and I like the ones that have the smokey flavor from being a touch burned by the coals.
Of course had to go down into the Cisterns. See the Medusa heads and walk under the various drippy waters from the brick ceiling. Churchlike in its silence and columns.
I have my new Canon G11 camera and set for low light the pictures we true and clear.
Leaving the underground it was clear and sunny and after a glass of pomegranate juice, it was rainy and windy. The tarps over the vendors flapped and ripped.
Then we were entering the Grand Bazaar. Not a great thing on my list. Did not want to fend off the carper merchants. But it was not too bad. We walked through the main thorougfare and out the other side.
Then it was a couple mosques. I have never been one to like churches and now, mosques. Their interiors are stylish, quiet, a hushed sort of ambiance and not my style to gawk around at people praying.
I wanted to see the Spice market.
Threading our way through the narrows where backgammon boards, knives, evil eyes, pots and pans, shoes, shirts were sold and then into the arch of the entrance to the spice market we were agog with the colors and aromas - soaps, spice, candies. Lined up in rows and boxes, and piles. Things hung from above and crowded from the edges, back to back, front to side, in to out.
Out the side door to the square and sitting in a place for a cup of tea (cay) - pronounced "chai".
The day was blustery and the tablecloth flapped and folded itself. Our collars were up.
The Galata bridge now ran across the Golden Horn and we went. Colorful fried fish sellers at the near shore, grilling fish on boats and handing them off to customers on the dock.
We walked along the lower level. Lined on this windy side was a long row of restaurants, which might have been nice but for this biting wind. Nethertheless, each one we passed some one rushed out and invited us to "please" look at the menu, "maybe just a tea or coffee". We said no and held up our simit (sesame bagellike ring of bread, only 1 Turkish Lira-TL).
Dejavu restuarant this evening, only because the chalkboard said beer 5L, and then the fellow was so nice. So we sat outide for a while until the cold got to us and then inside to the quieter, forks on plates noises of good eating. We tried some Raki, which I liked, liking licorice, and reminded me of Pernod and travels through France in vagabonding days.
Dejavu a good name since I could see going back to this place as the food looked quite good.
We are staying in the Hotel Ilkay right on the tram line down from the Gulhane stop. The Galata bridge is only 200 meters away. The local area s a cross section of life.