To understand a city, you must see the city and learn about the culture from an experienced and local teacher, and Oz was our guy. Get off the beaten path. See parts of the city away from the tourists. Experience the flavors (which is why we travel).
Circle Tour's website put it best, "Have you ever toured a city and wished you knew someone there?" Every itinerary differs depending on the day of the week and what's open, etc so this is just one Sunday example.
1) Met for a local breakfast spread, expertly curated and passionately explained. Chated with like minded travelers as you sample egg dishes, cheeses, spreads of all flavors, breads, all while enjoying çai (tea).
2) Walked down Istikal St and past the Gallata tower and onward through the local shops. Cooled off with fresh orange juice.
3) Took the ferry to the Asian side, while learning about various sights and landmarks.
4) Toured the fish market and local shopping areas. Stoped for incredible mincemeat flat bread.
5) Wound through local parts and stop to learn about Turkish coffee. Enjoyed it.
6) Caught the Bosphorous cruise and enjoy the incredible sights, mansions, parks, etc that line the shores. Relaxed. Let the breeze blow our cares away.
7) Back in reality it was time for a tour of a local antique market and a stop for a special Turkish crepe filled with spinach, or meat, or cheese, or of course with pistachio and sugar. Explored.
8) Then we were off to the ultra-conservative Istanbul neighborhood to walk and wind the streets. Then the Greek neighborhood. Then the Jewish neighborhood. All this walking made us hungry, so baklavah and more tea.
Tomorrow we will try a proper hammam (Turkish bath).
Miles Walked: 7.4