Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Istanbul and Arrival in Ankara

I have finally posted pictures to my Picasa space for anyone who wants to see all the pics I took yesterday. I'll post a few here so you don't have to trudge through them all. My guesthouse was set back between the Aya Sofia and the Blue Mosque, two of Istanbul's most famous landmarks. The first pic is of the Aya Sofia.

The second pic is of the Blue Mosque. You can quite literally be looking at one and turn around and see the other. The area in between contains a fountain which is very pretty as well. There are food vendors walking around selling their wares. There was even a man walking around with carafes of tea and spices in which you could flavor it.

For dinner, the manager of my guesthouse recommended a kafta restaurant called Sultanamet Koftecsisi that is right on the tramway. I was seated promptly and given a rather simple menu. For meats, the had kafta or shish kebabs, and for salads they had one with or without white beans. For those of you who don't know, kafta is a lamb meatball which is spiced using spices common to the middle east. I'll try posting a recipe for kafta as soon as I find/make one.

I think I am going to have to get used to the oily nature of Turkish food. This meal was very good and simple, but it rested pretty heavy in my stomach. The woman at the guesthouse told me that this specific restaurant was known for it's kafta, and I can see how that it true. I would have taken a picture of the small kitchen that is in front, but the cook didn't like how I was staring off into space instead of enjoying my food. I think he thought I didn't like it, so I figured it was best not to shoot a photo of him. Since I'm almost falling over in my chair, I think I'm going to write about the really great guesthouse I stayed in before leaving Istanbul tomorrow.

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