Istanbul, The Experience, Part 2

This day started a bit more casually than before.  We slept in, enjoyed a late breakfast and even logged our miles for our half marathon training.  Productive.  We then took a leisurely stroll to Taksim Square, which the Things pointed out wasn't really a square but more of a circle.  From there they proceeded to inform us of all the other "squares" that they have seen that are not squares.  Go figure.  We explained the significance of the "square" and then went on our way.  Durum was on the menu for lunch per the Things request for their last Turkish meal.  Street vendors have definitely cornered the market on this specialty.  Simply put, it is shaved meat, similar to how the Greeks do their gyros, with pickled cabbage, tomatoes, lettuce and sauce and then wrapped in lavash bread.
 The Things in front of the statue dedicated to the laborers from May Day

 Govrek vendors- selling simit and boiled eggs near the square

 Doner lunch

 Flower market lining Taksim Square

For the afternoon we scheduled a boat tour on the Bosphorus River.  The river that connects the Black and the Aegean Sea and also the Golden Horn.  Historical.  On our way to the pier where our boat would be dparting from we made a quick stop at the Egyptian Spice Market.  A small han, covered market, filled with any spice you could imagine as well as an assortment of local produce, cheeses and nuts.  Not to mention butchers as well, fresh sheep skin, head and cow stomach lining, just to name a few delicacies you could pick up there.  I think I could have spent all day in there.  Perusing the wide assormtent of olives.  Tasting all the different varieties of cheeses.  Yes, even looking at the meat choices.  Spices to smell, to sample, to buy.  A foodies dream afternoon.  Sadly though, I only had about half an hour and five other people that weren't quite as entertained as I was with the crowds, the smells or the vibe.  Oh well.
 Things enjoying a Turkish dondurma experience
 The Things and me in front of the Spice Market
(Yes, 3 out of 4 are taller than Mama)
 A collection of spices
Your choice of olives

After a bit of bargaining and speaking our best Turkish to the vendors we boarded the boat while jelly fish danced in the water.  Of course the highlight of this outing for the Things were the dolphins that followed us jumping in and out of the foamy waves.  We viewed castles, fortress walls and even crossed over to the Asian side of Turkey.  Simply magnificent.  There were sea side villas that reminded us of Laguna Beach and every which way we turned there was outstanding architecture to soak in.  A lovely day on the water.  And an even better last night in Turkey.  We were treated to an authentic Chinese dinner, complete with dumplings and roast duck.  Succulent.  An evening walk for Cornetto icecream and coffee and then back to the hotel to prepare for our early morning departure.
 Husband Jared and his girly Things
 Me and Thing 4
 Dolphins, at least their fins!
Villas and the port along the Boshporus
Thank you Turkey!

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