Bright and Early wake up today- we wanted to tick off a few things on the to-do list. Breakfast in the hotel was not one of them, but Breakfast at Hafiz Mustafa definitely was. Since 1884- you will see a Hafiz Mustafa in every corner of Istanbul. Just on Taksim Square we noticed 6.
I don’t think you can find any better dessert place than Hafiz Mustafa…. oh you figured now did you? Yup today is desserts for breakfast. We really are not helping our health issues in Istanbul. I blame Covid- if breakfast was on as usual in the hotel we wouldn’t be here.
SO what did we have:
If its any consolation- we did get a fresh orange juice.
Opposite the Hafiz Mustafa was the Grand Bazaar- I mean have you been Istanbul if you haven’t stepped into the Grand Bazaar? This place is a covered market and boasts up to 4000 shop within it….. My boys were mesmerised- full of fakes from designers all over the world it really was a different world inside. From small kiosks to larger stores inside, these people have thought of everything. While my boys were consumed with the Fakes. I kept averting my eyes to the dishes. Istanbul hold the most beautiful tea sets, trays, kettles all at a fraction of the price…… my heart stopped at every store ((I have a weakness for Cups. Tea Cups!!) Mental note to self: Girls trip next time plus extra 2 suitcases!)
We spent a couple of hours in the Grand bazaar walking in and out the lanes… this place does not end, to a point where we were wondering about but could not find an exit, and once frustrated with the hassling- we somehow made our way out.
The Grand bazaar was quite exhausting so we decided to head off back to the Hotel (which is only a walk away) and use the Spa. To our advantage the Spa was empty. If there are more than 4 people in there we definitely would have been cramped.
We probably got an hour in there before another family joined in, and all of a sudden the place felt claustrophobic, so we headed off out
Eminunu to KadiKoy
We made our way back to Eminunu via the trams and this time the plan was to get onto the boats to KadiKoy. The Boats are considered a Public form of travel in Istanbul. (I need to make you aware that on the streets you will find people trying to sell you a boat ride as part of a excursion. Honestly don’t do it. If you want a boat ride use the public transport!) You can use the Istanbul Kart for the trip and it costs just under £1. Now tell me why would you pay for a excursion?! The Boat trip is 20 minutes, and usually come every half hour.
Tea and Coffee and Food and entertainment is usually provided on the boat at an extra cost- but ……. Covid has taken the limelight again. Instead we were stuck with masks on our faces. But the boys enjoyed in nevertheless and fascinated that this was a form of public transport.
WE got off at the other end in KadiKoy- otherwise known as the Asian Side. Full of markets, cafes, historical places we walked around and just soaked in the culture. It was a lot more busy at this end and felt a little like a different city. Once again we decided on street food and then after an hours worth of walking we jumped on the ferry again to get across.
We got back in time to pray our Maghrib at the Hagia Sophia mosque and then got ready for dinner
When in Istanbul. This is a must!
Nusret Gökçe or other wise known as Salt Bae, is a Turkish butcher, chef, and restaurateur, who owns Nusr-Et, a chain of steak houses. His technique for preparing and seasoning meat became an Internet meme. If you don’t know this guy- where have you been??? If you want to know more Here he is.
We had always told ourselves that should we go to Dubai we had to eat at this place- but luckily he owns a few in Turkey and this one in particuler is in the Grand Bazaar. The hustling and bustling of the Grand Bazaar stops as soon as you step inside this restaurant, and then you are taken to a different world altogether. You are no longer in Istanbul. You are in Dubai.
We had to make sure that we order one of the signiture dishes just for the show, and the rest of the appetisers we chose for ourselves. And yes it is a show stopper for sure.
The food was very nice too, and in terms of price- well its back home pricing not Turkey pricing. But for me its a tick off the to-do box and thats enough.
And last stop…. Well a walk down SultanAhmet Square to see the beauty at night.,..
And that ended Day Three in Istanbul for us.
If you missed Day Two. It’s just here for you.
Love and Regards
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