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.