Istanbul – Day 5 (+ my scarf)
So as promised, here is a photograph of the beautiful scarf I purchased for a whopping £61 at the Grand Bazaar. £61 ended up being a third of the original asking price and the result of about a half hour of haggling, so I have to say I do believe we got a pretty good deal. Maybe. But it is stunning and pretty much the whole scarf is covered with intricate chain stitches (hand stitched too!).
I feel I must say here that from now on, unless otherwise state, all photos were provided by my darling sister since I was too lazy to take my camera out of my bag and take any myself.
Today seemed a bit of a waste of a day to be honest. We took the 10.30 am ferry from Kabataş to Büyükada Island, the largest of the Princes’ Islands. We chose to go to Büyükada over the other islands because, as the biggest island, it is supposed to have the most activities. This probably wasn’t the best idea as we weren’t interested in the activities (food – apparently overpriced – and horse carriage rides around the island). We were promised small beaches however “small beaches” turned out to be about a metre of jagged rocks that people precariously hung their towels from while they took a dip in the water.
There was also no shade, except for a handful of palm trees scattered along the way. We tried to sit under them on some grass but apparently the grass by the pavement is not public property and so we were quickly shooed away. Instead we sat on the curb and pavement for a couple of hours (to be honest the only reason we stayed so long is because we wanted to spend about as much time on the island as it took getting to and from there). As always, we did get to make a friend though.
On the ferry ride back we helped a lovely playwright and author with her bags and in exchange she prevented some people from demanding we squish up and let them sit on our bench on the ferry. The ferry ride was supposed to be only 95 minutes long but I think because of the crowds of people it took close to 2 hours instead (we were told to avoid the weekends and today – a thursday – the place was already heaving).
After getting off of the ferry we heading by the metro to Taksim, a pretty high-end looking area of Istanbul. We were promised stuffed mussels which actually ended up taking us a while to find but when we found them… wow. (Recipe here)
A plate of 10 mussels only cost 5 lira, which translates into $21HKD, $2.76USD or £1.78. BARGAIN. We bought 2 more plates to take back to the hotel with us it was that delicious.
On the walk back to the metro we also stopped by to have some Mado icecream, also recommended by Melissa which seemed to be a higher class version of the ice cream you can get everywhere on the streets of Turkey (the one where they make an ass out of you for ordering if you look too much like a tourist). I ordered my staple chocolate and raspberry and it was absolutely delicious.