Active day getting around

We caught the tram from Sultanahmet district to the north side of the Galata Bridge searching for the cafe that sold Kaymak (fresh buffalo cream with honey).  The Turks don’t say “smooth as a baby’s bottom”, they say “smooth as buffalo cream” and now we know why!  We congratulated the business owner whose business will have been operating for 100 years next year.

With a bit of energy inside us and a boost of Turkish coffee in the blood (don’t drink the mud at the bottom), we made our way up through the electronics and music shop district to The Galata tower, then on up Isklidal Caddesi (Independence Avenue) to Taksim square.  After a quick look at the monument and then the location of the protest camps in 2013 which started in an effort to save the park from development, we caught the funicular down to Kabatas and then the ferry to the Asian side of the Bosphorus at Uskudar.

There we walked along the shoreline through a series of bookstalls under vinyl tents – representing the “book festival”.  For a late lunch we grabbed a fish sandvic (sandwich) and lentil soup and watched the ferries ply their trade. From there we came back to Eminonu ferry port and had a nice pot of Turkish tea in a tea garden of Gulhane Park overlooking the Bosphorus.  We walked around the Topkapi Palace back to Gulhane (tramstop) then visited the Blue Mosque for half an hour.  We used the tram to get to Aksaray and walked down to an Uzbeki restaurant (Mihari Express) for dinner in the north Asian enclave of the city where Russians, Uzbekis, Pakistanis and Georgians live.   Quite a different “feel” on the streets here – a rougher “edge”, heavy traffic jams, fewer tourists, dozens of toy shops and clothes shops and vendors on the streets.

After a dinner of chicken kofte (meatballs), Russian salad, aubergine salad, mince dumplings and Pilaf (rice and lamb) we walked along Turkeli Caddesi back to Sultanahmet in the dusk light.

Mid to late 20 degrees C all day.  Two-tone (orange and beige) sheep grazing and spending time with its owner on the lawn between Blue Mosque and Aya Sofia.