Travel to Istanbul was fairly random. We, the fans of minimalism and Europe, had to travel to the former capital of Turkey on the labor question, but the time to explore the city from a tourist point of view still remains.
The flight was short-lived, and here we are in Istanbul. We were warned in advance that many people understand the Russian language, and we ask the employee the airport, as we get to the hotel at night … first in Russian, then in English, and it is something still chattering on his own. From his words, we understand only one thing – “Taxi.” Oh well! We sit in a taxi and go …
The rate surpasses 120, the road is narrow, a lot of turns and beautiful city that flashes up window. I slam the taxi driver on the shoulder and again first in Russian, then in English try to explain that the speed is too high, and he does not understand something and then chirps in Turkish. Then call somewhere and give me the phone, saying that talk. I listen to some vague proposals in English, saying I do not understand. Who is it said that they understand Russian?
It later emerged that some Turks still talking in Russian. This has more to employees of shops and markets where there is a lot of our visitors.
As I said, Istanbul – a city of contrasts and traditions. The old part is full of mosques, shrines, tombs, women in burkas and barefoot kids. But in the new part of life hits a creek in the Western manner: mirrored skyscrapers, women in suits with coffee and diplomats, men in expensive cars, boutiques and coffee shops with expensive drinks and Italian sweets ….
But what are we to sweets? Yes, just in so many I’ve never seen them. We, of course, not a sweet tooth, but do not try could not … Huge stores with glass display cases, followed by the huge trays: baklava, Turkish delight, different cinnamon rolls, pistachio, caramel, custard cakes soaked in honey … I can say one thing: it was insanely delicious! Washed down with these goodies Turkish tea from glass mugs, you already feel like a resident of Istanbul.
A little more talk about the kitchen. Since we are – vegetarians, we could not try the most important meal of Turkey – doner kebab. Here it is prepared at every step. There are two kinds of chicken and beef. In remote areas of Istanbul, where there are no tourists, and it is made from mutton. The only disadvantage of this snack is that the sauce is added to the doner itself, but simply placed alongside. This dish is eaten all over the place, washed down with the local liquid yogurt. We ate salads and drank all the soda. This delicious soda, by the way, we have not tried. It is so tasty, that took a sip, I want to drink it forever. I do not know, however, why such a difference, but the taste of Turkish “Coke” has nothing to do with our own, believe me.
And completing the gastronomic story of Istanbul, yet I would like to say about the sellers mussels. Every morning they go on a fishing trip. Who catches mussels (marine bivalve molluscs), the day prepares them with rice and spices, and late in the evening to go out and sell. So we decided to try too. Man opens shell – there she mussel and fragrant rice. All waters with lemon juice, spicy pickled peppers puts – and you can eat. I guess I’ve never tasted anything like it! Reminds perfectly cooked risotto with seafood, but still tasty. One shell costs 1 lira (19 rubles). When you arrive in Istanbul, do not take the 1 lira, try it.
The heart of Istanbul.
Arriving in Istanbul, we got to the biggest event for believers – Ramadan. At this time, people do not eat or drink from sunrise to sunset. And then begins the most amazing … In the main square (our hotel was located just next to) people gather and distribute food to them. For free. It is not a bowl of soup, but a real comprehensive dinner: first, second and compote. Someone brings a meal with him. They sit on the lawn and taking food to the sounds of the night, dance and socialize. When approaching sunrise – sung prayer. His way, broadcast on the radio three times a day for the entire city.
In the Power of Three Seas.
More to say about the local beaches, as Istanbul is surrounded by three seas: the Black Sea, the Marmara and the Aegean. We took all necessary for the beach and went to look for him. Passed along the shore at the Bosphorus. On the shore of the huge boulders and is not a normal place for swimming. On these boulders sit local men, grilled kebabs and freshly caught fish, drink beer. So we went and did not swim. Later it became clear that there is not allowed to sit with men, women, and the beaches are far from the city. So in Istanbul you can not swim in the sea and lie in the sun.