Today, Boris and I had lunch with a couple of friends. They insisted we eat iskembe soup before we left Turkey.
Iskembe is a tripe soup frequently found throughout the Balkans and Turkey. Made from cow’s stomach and other cow & sheep offal, including sheep head meat, you add chili flakes, vinegar, garlic and some lemon juice.
No, I did not know exactly what I was eating but I knew it was related to kokoreç because our friend let it slip. I think I would have been able to identify the taste though, even if he hadn’t…
Galata Tower was originally built of wood and erected as a lighthouse in the year 528 AD. About 700 years later, it was reconstructed using stack stone, and stands today as one of the architectural witnesses to Istanbul’s rich history.
Over the course of its life, Galata Tower has been used as an astronomical observation point, and a watch tower for the fire brigade (although apparently that didn’t prevent its destruction by fire a few times). Although it has been damaged and rebuilt a number of times, it is the oldest tower in the world still available for visitors to take the elevator to the top and admire the city.
I finally made it to the Hagia Sophia. You’d think being in Istanbul for a month would warrant an immediate trip. Better late than never, right? I’ll post more photos soon, although I regret to say that the lighting inside the incredible building is not super for my regular old point & shoot. Starting to wonder whether it’s time to invest in a real camera…Anyway, enjoy this sneak peek!
It always cracks us up that the seagulls all stand to attention facing the exact same way towards the sun. Whenever we see them in big groups, Boris jokes that it’s his army (if they’re on land), air force (if they’re flying), navy (if they’re all bobbing silently on the water) and once we saw a flock land on top of a 3-storey house. They were the sniper battalion.
The other day we strayed from our routine of walking only on the waterfront and crossed the street (HUGE, I know!).
I was actually really surprised at how different the perspective was, by making such a slight change.
We saw things we had never seen but had always passed because we were looking the other way: stained glass we hadn’t noticed, a beautiful graffito that I liked. I also caught a glimpse of this elderly woman on her way somewhere. Maybe home, maybe not. But wherever she was going, I hope she enjoyed the journey.
|Doggies appreciating the beautiful January day in Sariyer, Istanbul.|
Our neighborhood has dozens of stray dogs who wander the streets. Boris has named many of them and since arriving, a couple newbies have showed up whose monikers I’ve helped coin: Prince Graceful, Mange, Spotty, Beyaz Peynir to name a few.
We spotted the two above during our walk along the waterfront. The golden looking out along the water looked so wistful and wise, so we named him Odysseus. The dog hanging out with him doesn’t have a name as appropriate to share, as one time she chased Boris down the street and he doesn’t like her temperament very much… 🙂
|The view from the end of an alleyway.|
|Just look how snow transforms everyday objects like scaffolding into something pretty and poetic! Zounds!|
|Roses in the snow.|
|The mosque near our apartment.|
|Looks like a few folks still wanted to play on the playground in the bad weather.|
|The fishermen are there selling their fresh wares come rain or come shine.|
|These boats aren’t goin’ anywhere today.|
|Neither are these, I reckon…|
|All the stray doggies like looking pensive in the snow.|
|Ataturk looking stately in front of the Turkish flag.|
|Yes, that is our neighborhood Burger King in the background…|
|Side-by-side footprints in the snow.|