Bosphorus, Istanbul – Turkey Trip – Day 2
I woke up to the chime of whatsapp and then registered the cooing of seagulls. They were really big ones with huge expansive wings flying all over. It was a slightly windy, blue sky day with some patches to spare. Patches were occupied by velvety white clouds shimmering like fresh popcorns in the sky. And yes there are houseflies and mosquitoes in Istanbul. The houses are modest and multi-floored but rents in Istanbul are expensive. The roofs are more or less conjoint as seen in several Bond and Taken movies.
Sujit and Achintya arrived and it was action time. The quorum was complete. We took the afternoon easy and lunched at home with some pepper chicken curry, a wholesome cucumber and tomato salad and steamed rice. Crashed for a bit.
Towards the evening, we took the metro to the Cevahir mall, in Sisili for a bit of shopping. Cevahir Shopping Mall is the 2nd biggest in Europe, 8th biggest shopping center in the World! It has 224 stores, 6 floors and is connected via the subway.
Evening took us to the Bosphorus, Istanbul. We hopped onto a shared minibus or Dolmus for 2 TL a head. A dolmus only rolls once all its eight seats are full, so if you are in a rush you may want to hail a cab.
Bosphorus, Istanbul was like the most happening place I have been to in the recent past. The Bosphorus sea side is vast. It had street food, game stalls and even stalls selling counterfeits. People were drinking beer by the sea and simply enjoying themselves. The restaurants were packed with no space to breathe.
We started our food journey at Besiktas, with appetizers of mussels that were sold by the piece. These mussels are stuffed with rice and lemon is squeezed on them just before eating. The stuff at Gala Kokorec was simply delicious.
We went on to a fish restaurant called Turgut Vidinli for “Raki” & food. Turgut Vidinli is a 34 year old restaurant in Besiktas. Raki, the anise-flavored local liquor, was served with a huge bread basket, melon and cheese. We ordered for some Meze that comprised of a tomato chilly dip, huge bowl of salad, octopus salad, seaweed yoghurt, and prawns in butter. The mains comprised of chicken shish touk, lightly spiced tender calamari and a full portion of sea bass. The meal was totalled with some “helva“. Helvais a traditional Turkish dessert made with semolina. Some serious eating with awesome food took place. Check out the photos.