In spite of going to bed late (1:30am local time), my body decided that there was no more sleep allowed after 6am. So I got up and wrapped up some work I had meant to complete before the trip. We left the apartment around 9:30am to find some breakfast on Istikal street. Deciding on Simit Sarayi, a Turkish simit chain that I enjoyed before, we grabbed a few pastries, an egg dish and tea, then got a nice seat to hang out for a while.

Despite that we are on vacation, as a group we decided to set some ground rules and goals for each day. Yesterday’s goal was to eat at least two cones of ice cream. Mission accomplished. Today’s goals: no handcuffs. no grievous bodily injuries, don’t lose anyone, and no cannibalism. Yes, there is an explanation coming on that last one. 😉 So all in all, we achieved our lofty goals for day two.


After breakfast we found a bookstore, then wandered back to Galata tower to find a place with coffee. The power happened to go out while we were at breakfast, but came back on after we got computers and met Jacqui at a nearby cafe.


I was really feeling tired so while we hung out at the cafe I had not one but two Türk kahvesi (Turkish coffees). At this point I was ready to go run a marathon or find a car to lift over my head.


Onur and his brother were tired and just wanted to find a kokoreç (lamb intestine sandwiches) restaurant, so Ian, Jacqui and I went to spend the afternoon sightseeing on our own.




First we walked through the Egyptian Spice Market, where we browsed and did some shopping. Then we found some pide (sort of a Turkish pizza) for lunch down a small alleyway. The pide was delicious, and our total meal of three pides and three cokes cost a total of $6 US.



After eating we wandered over to the train station, which was the end of the Orient Express. The current train station was built in 1890, and is very pretty.


There was a nice dondurma (ice cream) shop across the way that had both bathrooms and air conditioning, so we had to make another ice cream stop. It was the best decision of the day! I’ve decided that süt (plain milk) is my favorite ice cream flavor here, it’s not overly sweet and just mainly tastes like creamy goat milk.


When my ice cream dish arrived I decided on the spot, that I never want to return to the states. Sorry guys.

We also enjoyed watching traffic from our table on the second floor, the rules of the road are mere suggestions and it is absolutely insane to watch pedestrians, trains, cars and motorbikes manage to not crash into each other while driving: on the train tracks, on the side walk, creating additional lanes, and driving backwards up and down small streets.

fullsizeoutput_15dffullsizeoutput_15e1fullsizeoutput_15e4After our ice cream we headed for the boat dock to find a tour boat. It was much harder to figure out which boat was doing the tour that we wanted to take without our Turkish tour guides, but we did find one. This 1.5 hour boat ride cost approximately $2 US, and we had a good laugh about our Bargain Boat that was about 100 years old didn’t even seem to be equipped with life rings.

fullsizeoutput_15e7Both Ian and I were so tired that we started to nod off on the boat ride, jet lag was still in full force. We decided to try out the funicular to get back up to the Taksim area. It’s really quick and quiet!


After reconvening at the apartment and deciding we were all so tired and didn’t want to go far for dinner, we joined Berkay at a bar he found near Galata tower for dinner. The restaurant was the top floor of a very fancy hotel (think chandeliers and gold leaf on furniture) and the restaurant was very fancy so we paid a little more there than we had for a meal yet. I calculated that my grilled chicken dish was about $6 US and a glass of wine was only $4 US. Still seems incredibly inexpensive, as I’m accustomed to paying upwards of $15 for a lunch salad in San Francisco or over $100 for a nice dinner out with Onur.



We made it back to the apartment and I fell right asleep. Will I ever recover from jet lag? Only time will tell.