Lady Hiva and I joined a group of friends for a walking food tour of Istanbul called “Born on the Bosphorus.” It was a wonderful day to be with friends…and we walked nearly 8 miles doing it! (To walk off all those calories we were eating)
The day started down in the Besiktas area where we had some mando kaymak with honey (something Lady Hiva really likes here). It is a creamy cheese made from Water Buffalo milk. The honey makes it a rich breakfast to eat. Usually we eat it with bread. Next we walked to “Breakfast Street” and we ate at one of them.
The breakfast street is lined with cafes specializing in Turkish styled breakfast. We had samples of four different versions of an egg and tomato dish. It was delicious. The guide told us that he was trying to bring us to some of the most popular places for locals. He would also fill us in on That made it even more fun. We walked through the streets, stopping at fish markets, bakeries and pastry shops as we went.
One of the most interesting things we did were stop by some of the Christian churches around the city and behind tall walls. We would never have known they were there otherwise. One of which was a Greek Orthodox church that was absolutely amazing. From historical gold mosaics on the pillars to stone designs in the walkway. They did not spare any details—including turtles roaming through the area.
From there, we rode a water ferry to the Asian side of Istanbul. We started with a walk along the Bosphorus, then ate at a natural honey shop, olive and cheese producer, and then some candy shops. I was so sugared out after I ate a candied pumpkin that takes like a big ball of caramelized brown sugar. After that I just watched them eat.
|Fruit all made out of sugar|
Then the rain STARTED! It was a downpour! We hid under some store awnings until it stopped. It lasted for quite awhile so the guide filled the extra time with eating a lambs head that had been roasted. The cheeks were alright and the tongue was alright…the brain was SO nasty. It was a grey spongy texture—kind of like mixture of granulated warm Jello and hummus. I tried so long to not gag and had to eat some more cheek to keep it down.
After a short bus ride, we went to a cute village with old traditional homes that once lined the Bosphorus. There were close to 50 people taking their wedding photos next to the beautiful homes. That too was fun to see. We walked up and stopped at a few of the small shops, trying rice, fruit and other local seasonal items. We had some fish stew and some fried anchovies. Better than sheep brains, but not much.
The final stop on the tour was a family’s house were we had a cool milk and fruit dessert. It was so much fun to just sit around their garden and talk.
Overall, my favorite part of the tour was hearing the history of the city and tasting the traditions. However, it would not have been as great had we been with someone other than friends. The tour is new and we enjoyed it.