The Grand Bazaar is the largest covered market in the world. This is not a place that you walk in to hungry, tired, or in poor walking shoes. We went here a couple of times. Day 1 was just to get the lay of the land, try to figure out where everything is located and get a feel for what we might want to purchase. Day 2 was where the serious shopping and serious haggling began.
It was a jam packed day of sightseeing for us, but since we managed to play our cards right we were able to knock out three biggies in the Sultanahmet district. Before all of this sightseeing could begin, we needed some nourishment and grabbed a quick bite to eat at Caferaga Medresesi. This cute little place is in the middle of the block, down an alley, tucked in to a cute courtyard. The courtyard doubles as an artist’s retreat and a cafe, the food was delicious and reasonably priced in what is otherwise a very touristy area.
Since we love food it is pretty natural that we also love learning how to make local dishes. The only thing we planned before heading to Istanbul, was our cooking class with Cooking Alaturka. The classroom/restaurant can be found in the Sultanahmet, behind the Blue Mosque. Upon arrival, we were offered coffee or tea (choose the tea) and given the list of dishes we would be making. The class started at 4:30pm and was about 4.5 hours long (including dinner). We made a total of 5 dishes and were able to enjoy them with the 8 other people in our class.
Yes! Istanbul loves cats and no, I am not talking about the musical. Everywhere you go there are cats roaming the streets, hanging out in windows, perched on cars, and just about anywhere else you can imagine. Here are some snapshots of our four legged furry friends: