Istanbul – part 3

I did some shopping in Istanbul (of course), starting with a market in the area of Eminonu. It was a market that locals shop at so my sisters and I were hoping for some good bargains. We looked around and bought backlava, some oud in pretty colourful bottles and turkish delight.

There was lots to see, great smells and some lovely looking fresh produce. It took us a while to look around and finally make our way to the famous Grand Bazaar.

The Grand Bazaar was pretty touristy and really busy. We looked around but I didn’t find anything particularly appealing. There were lots of shops selling counterfeit designer bags and clothes and others selling jewellery and food. I only ended up buying some sweets for myself before heading for lunch at the famous Nusr-et.

After lunch we went to nearby Nuruosmaniye Mosque to pray. Afterwards we found a really steep narrow staircase to one side and putting in the effort and courage to climb the small uneven steps, we found ourselves on the top tier of the mosque. The view was beautiful and worth the effort.

I absolutely loved the beautifully detailed designs and colours of the tiles. And the mosque has high ceilings and was really spacious and light. We sat for a while taking in the view and soaking up the atmosphere.

At the end of our Istanbul trip we visited the Basilica Cistern, a place I was keen to see (even more since it was in the film Inferno). The cistern was built in the 6th century and the roof is supported by 336 marble columns. The space was lit up with atmospheric lighting and in modern time includes some art pieces too.

The walkways wound through the columns and artworks and it was cool and quiet. I really enjoyed seeing how well kept it all was and how the light created some stunning reflections.

We then decided to get something to eat and look at a few more shops. We were accompanied by one of the many cats we saw on the streets that are very tame and look well looked after.

I really enjoyed my trip to Istanbul, we saw lots but there was still so much to see that we didn’t have time for. The food was delicious, the people friendly and welcoming and the history unlike any other. I really hope that I can come back one day and continue to learn about this special city and experience more of what it has to offer.

The savory side

In an earlier post I talked about my visit to a chocolate fair and how diverse a range of chocolates were available and how pretty and creative they were. As part of the fair there was a section for cheese and wine lovers and other savory snack for those who don’t have such a sweet tooth. I don’t drink and I’m not a fan of cheese but I was intrigued to see just how many different colours and shapes there were of cheese, so I followed the cheesy whiff and came upon lots of varieties.


There were some impressively big cheeses, and some ‘holey’ ones like you see in cartoons, and there were lots I’d never encountered before; some with blue veins running through them and others in colourful hues, each with their own taste and texture. I didn’t taste any as I’m no cheese connoisseur but I did take a close look at a few.

I didn’t spend too long in this section and I moved onto other savory snacks that were available. There were some Italian truffle and olive oils and various pickles. I didn’t buy any of these but I did opt for some roasted chili flavoured cashews which tasted pretty good.

Some other things that caught my eye were some really unique cheese boards, each with a different style and embellishments. I particularly liked the ones with inlaid Mother of Pearl

I didn’t seek out this section especially, but having a quick look at the stalls was interesting. I think it was a bit different to find at a chocolate fair but I didn’t have to pay any extra and it was another taste for food enthusiasts to enjoy.

I really enjoyed my visit to the chocolate fair and liked seeing all the different foods and chocolate goodies. I hope to be able to go to more food festivals soon.