Our Turkish Routine

We have settled into a routine after a week. No more jet lag, and no more 2-hour naps in the afternoons. I go to bed around 8PM and wake at 4-5AM. We don’t venture out the door until after 9:30AM since Joe usually has a later start in the mornings. We tour the city, have lunch, and are usually back by 3:30PM, in time for the NY market opening at 4:30PM, and Joe’s basically doing what he always does at home – monitor the market until 11PM. In fact, we believe Turkey’s time zone works perfectly for us in this respect.

We had somewhat of a rough day yesterday, so we decided to give our aging Achilles a rest today by busing to and from Eyüp.

Eyüp is a more conservative town on the outskirts of Eminönü, where all the tourists are. The Eyüp Sultan Mosque is where Abu Ayub al-Ansari, a friend of prophet Muhammad, is buried. Naturally, this attracts Muslim pilgrims. We figured we’d visit to get a different flavor of Turkey.

The #55T bus brought us right to the Mosque
The inner courtyard
My favorite part of visiting mosques is to admire the domes. No two domes are exactly alike, like African wild dogs’ markings, each one is unique.
These are some of the domes we’ve seen so far
One thing we noticed around the mosque is the huge number of kittens. They were everywhere.
Mom with 3 kittens
A natural in front of the camera
As well as the sheer number of cats in general

The other attraction in Eyüp is the Pierre Loti Cafe, located at the top of the hill, that affords you a view of Istanbul. To get there one would need to take a teleferick (cable car) next to the mosque.

My understanding is that there are normally lines of people waiting for the cable cars. But we do not live in normal times.
A single trip costs 3.50TL using the Isatanbulkart, which is good for metro, buses, trams, funiculars, ferries, and cable cars.
You see the hillside lined with tombs as you go up on the cable car
The view up top
All sorts of refreshments are on offer here
I settled with a cup of Turkish coffee, and Joe chocolate ice cream
A nice place to sit back and take in the scenery

We sat for a bit, but got a little antsy as we wanted to grab lunch, which is all the way back where we are staying. So we made our way down into town to catch the bus.

Figs and walnuts, endemic to Turkey
This is not our lunch spot, but it could have been had we not already decided where we were going.

The trip back was a breeze. I wonder what the locals think of us, as we navigate the public transit like a bunch of pros. We haven’t seen any other tourists on buses, but then again there are few tourists in town.

Lunch spot featured by Mark Weins on his YouTube channel, and also recommended by our Airbnb host.
Turks use a lot of parsley in their cuisine, including this salad. Luckily I love parsley.
Refreshing with tomatoes
Lamb spare ribs
Minced lamb meat kebap

So far this place is #4 on my list (#1 is Sehzade Cag Kebap, #2 is Antiochia, #3 is Erol).

One more thing we’ve made a change to our routine is that we only eat one meal a day, as we found that eating 2 meals out is just too much for us at this point. I don’t want to end up like Chunky the cat by the time I leave Turkey.

Chunky is cute, but I don’t think I can pull it off.

Today’s total was $30 (meals plus transportation).

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