Three Puddings

We finally made it to some of the sights today. Unfortunately, there was not much to write home about. Haifa Sophia was recently converted from a museum to a mosque, and the interior of the Blue Mosque is currently undergoing renovations. The only place we actually got to have some fun with was the Basilica Cisterns.

Hagia Sophia

The exterior of Hagia Sophia
The upside to having Hagia Sophia converted to a mosque is that there is no longer an entrance fee.
The size is impressive

Basilica Cisterns

A giant underground reservoir way back when
Built with “scrap” marble. This column is buttressed by a Medusa’s head that had originally belonged to another structure.

Blue Mosque

This was the only photo I got of the Blue Mosque, as the interior was awash due to renovations.
Mosaic at the Sultanahmet park fountain with depictions of the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia

Lunchtime!

Now that we have the handy little book that Senem had given us yesterday, finding a good place to eat is now a piece of cake.

Nuruosmaniye Köftecisi is a nondescript hole in the wall close to the Grand Bazaar that serves up tasty köfte (meatballs)
Dessert was Kadaif (sweet noodles) with çay on the house

Lunch came out to be 60TL ($8) for two.

Nuruosmaniye Mosque

We ducked into another mosque on our way to the Grand Bazaar
Simple and elegant

Snack

We worked our way to Dönerci Sahin Usta for a quick post lunch bite before heading into the Grand Bazaar for some respite from the sun.
This one put us back 30 TL ($4) vs. the ones in NYC that used to cost $5 20+ years ago. Granted the NYC portion was bigger and had yogurt sauce. Both Joe and I commented how we missed the NYC döner with the white sauce, which the Turks don’t add.

Grand Bazaar

I had to quickly and stealthily take a picture of the beautiful lamps because I read that shop owners don’t allow photos.
Today was my lucky day
One more

We came back for my regular 2-hour siesta, and then we were back out in search for food.

Dinner

We opted for street food today. First stop was fried meatballs.
Joe said the fried meatball tastes like something his grandma used to make.
A wet burger – so named because it’s steamed.
The buns were soaked, which reminds me of the soaked buns in the Philly cheesesteak.
Dessert @ Özkonak was tavuk gögsü (chicken breast pudding) and kazandibi (rice pudding). The chicken breast pudding is really made out of chicken, but is sweet. The chicken is merely a texturing agent and gives the pudding its firm texture. I liked the regular rice pudding, and Joe liked the chicken breast pudding.
We saw locals ordering the keskül, an almond based pudding, so we decided to try it as well.

Total cost for the day came out to be $29 for the two us for all meals and Basilica Cisterns tickets.

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