As I’ve been looking at my photos lately I come to notice how many photos I have of FOOD! I love food and the way it is presented and I often capture that in my photos! If there is also a nice setting to eat in, doesn’t that just make the food taste better? I think so………Today, I am taking you to Istanbul, Turkey to discover the ambiance of Istanbul! Our Hotel was in the Heart of the Historic District, but one day we decided to take a boat tour…….The driver picked us up at our hotel and dropped us off at a travel agency, where we met up with other tourists and were loaded into small vans……Off we went…..
As usual, I should have read the small print………this tour was much more than just a tour of the city and a boat ride! The vans stopped at a funicular, that went up and up and up and the guide said we we would be taking it to the top, first, to get a good view of the city and the Bosphorus Strait. So, up we went…….then we climbed some stairs…….and came to the top……..
MY it was a wonderful view! And since it was so hot the tourists decided this place was the perfect spot for a drink before we did anything else! This was the Pierre Loti Restaurant……..
I made the comment, that would come back to haunt me,”Well at least we don’t have to walk all the way to that boat down there!” Then the guide rounded us up and as we sipped away, related the story of Pierre Loti. We were on his hill!
Pierre Loti, a pseudonym for Julien Viand, was a French novelist and naval officer, who wrote books about exotic spots he visited during his naval career and throughout his lifetime. His noted first works were tales of his love affairs; love, death and despair! Other books were travel guides presenting beautiful tales of Islamic life in countries before the exploitation of tourists……
In 1887, he wrote his first book, Aziyzdé. It was the story of a love affair between a 27 year-old man with a Circassian ( a harem girl) of 18. Many believe this book was semi-autobiographical, based on a diary Loti kept during the fall and winter of 1876. Here is the Turkish interpretation of the story as told by our guide.
While Loti was serving in the military in Istanbul, he met and fell in love with a beautiful Circassian woman. They would meet secretly on this hill, high above the city. Her family would not approve of her marrying a non-muslim and they were both in turmoil over this……. Aziyadé suggested they run away together and go to France, where he could marry her. The only problem; (well there were many as I saw it, but the story moves on) he had not been quite honest with her, because he was already married and his wife was in France……
After a few months and several meetings in their secret meeting place, he did leave Turkey……..without her. When she believed he was never coming back she married the person her family had chosen for her. He did come back several years later and was distraught that she had married! Really, men! Their liaison started up again at once, up on the hill……..Eventually, her husband suspected something was up and when he found out about her affair with Loti, he killed her. Pierre Loti wore a gold band with her name etched on the inside, for the rest of his life. The hill is now a popular overlook of the city, with the restaurant and more shops further up the hill.
After our little rest stop, the guide announced we would be walking back down to board the boat, following a cobblestone path along the edges of the Eyüp Mosque and Cemetery……….OH MY gosh! It seemed like a loooooooooong way down, but as it turned out, that walk was one of the most memorable I have done…….I will write all about it on Monday for Jo’s Monday Walk! Stay tuned, you will not want to miss it! But, now back to the FOOD!
After we returned from our day’s outing up and down hills, on a boat and in the market place……we decided to eat close by to the hotel…. It was right across from the hotel, as a matter of fact, and it was packed both inside and outside every day and night……with tourists and locals……. First a look at our neighborhood………
and across from the hotel………
was the New Hatay Restaurant, Kebab and Fish House. The nice thing about the restaurant was the servers, all who were very outgoing and good looking…..there was no shortage of young women eating here daily and the servers paid a lot of attention to them and to us as well…..
Here is a photo of the inside/outside…….
Another photo further along on the outside……….. Now, I also want to mention that one of the experiences I was not used to was the harassment from carpet sellers that found you as soon as you left your hotel and followed you where ever you went and would not take “no I do not want a carpet” …….as a reply to them……As soon as the waiters saw this, even if you were just walking by the restaurant, the waiters would move them off…….Another reason we decided to eat there after our day excursion; we were too pooped to want to go anywhere else or to deal with carpet sellers! So, down we sat………. The menu was written in English and Russian!
First, was served this naan, the size of a basketball! We proceeded to load up, as we had eaten nothing all day!
The appetizer was a mushroom, onion, fruit soup, served in a tomato sauce for my hubby………loved that long spoon!
And I chose the fruit and veg salad…….
For the mains, hubby chose the fish……..with more bread………..thicker this time……
and I had the kabob and all the trimmings! Yumm….. all washed down with wine of course! Yes, they do serve wine in Muslim Turkey! That food was fresh and tasty! It also had a nice presentation (cloth napkins and tablecloths, changing of silverware between dishes, attentive server, food at the right temperature and lots of color on the plate) and varied serving plates! AND lots of food for a minimal price! Sometimes, that is just what you are looking for!
Fill Your Plate!
I hope you have enjoyed my foodie post for Friday from Turkey…….I have other eateries from here, as well; some fancier and some street vendors…… I will also share those with you soon….. If you would like to post your foodie photos from around the world, just leave a comment with your post and share a little about where and what you were eating! I’ll share them in my following posts every Friday! See you next Friday or Monday, if you read the post on the cemetery walk!
PS I also met a lovely English woman, when I sat on a bench in one of the parks……..she showed me how to get rid of the unwanted salesmen that followed us everywhere! We practiced her skills for about 45 minutes before we moved off!