My first day here I looked at the city and thought to myself, “I’m so not going out, it looks like a medieval Ghetto.
Second time round though I dared to go and walked around the ancient town on my own for the afternoon.
At the entrance to the Old Town, a World Heritage site if you are interested in that kind of thing, lies the ruins of the Church of the Virgin of the Burgh. It is still a very interesting and beautiful site in my opinion.
Although it is a pity to me that all the little tourist orientated shops sprawled across the main walkways have taken over, there is. however, an ambience about the town.
Little tavernas are hidden away down alleyways and around corners; clearly where the locals go as foreigners are as few and far between as proper English.
Down the main street a family run linen shop selling handmade comforters, pillow slips, throws and spreads caught the attention of my credit card and I cannot wait to get home and put my new purchases to use.
Today though it is a case of taking more photo’s and a second try of the local beer.
I do wish that I had more time to actually explore. Seeing things like the Acropolis of Apollo would be high on my to do list, but alas, it is not to be.
Downstairs in the Istanbul Modern there is a saying literally written on the wall. To my own despair I cannot remember the exact phrasing, but it goes a little something like this: With your first glimpse of the city you realize how very special the East truly is. I agree completely.
My first sight of anything other than African Soil was the city lights of Istanbul at night and what a sight it was.
Now that I have spent a little more time in Turkey and more soon to be experienced I have added it to my top ten places that I now enjoy.
But more about the food.
In Cape Town, my first experience with Kataifi pastry came via Mike Bassett and his Kataifi wrapped prawns. I would be lying if I didn’t admit to damning the pastry a few times since it dries out so very quickly while you are trying to wrap a hundred odd prawns at a time.
But this creation has nothing on the pistachio kataifi baskets with their crisp honey crunch.
There’s something so different about these pastries (besides the obvious). The very little sugar that is used in the making of the items makes it so much easier to want to try everything and not go into a sugar induced coma.
Then there are the Turkish Delights that come in more flavors than they do colors. They have a chewy side to them that I really do love. The shop bought ones and the ones we used to make at home just can’t compare with their softness.
If you are ever in Istanbul, try out both at Hafiz Mustafa. I stopped in there with Lisa from Do You Speak Cilantro. Open since 1864 they’ve got it down! Don’t forget to check out her blog either for a look at her own travel experiences.
Venice really is the most amazing city. Unfortunately I only had about an hour available to wander around and get lost, but I did end up at San Marco eventually.
For me the nice thing is that when I go back to the same place I have a better idea of what I want to do, and where I want to go; maybe there’s a small shop that I past by that I meant to go into but didn’t have the time.
Such plans I have ready for our next call to Venice, but for the moment we are about to leave.
As silly as it may be, there is something extremely comforting about seeing something you know when you are far away from home.
In this case it was a brand of coffee that I am familiar with and used at home and my favorite brand of tooth paste which I hadn’t been able to find before.
My mother doesn’t get it, but like my bestest says, there’s something about going into your own space and seeing the familiar.
Now tie that in with a decent choc chip cookie and you have one very content chef.
Thank you Stella Maris!
Sorrento 2 June 2012
A few nautical miles away from the most awesome pizza in Naples, along the Amalfi coast line lies Sorrento.
I have most recently come to realise that no matter where I go, Italy will always hold that special appeal to me. And its places like this that proves it to me every time.
Sure, clearly the Italians have some trust issues – what exactly is it with building towns way up on cliffs – but lets set that aside for a moment and ponder the tiny little strip of Via San Cesareo.
On my way in I caved to the self loathing of buying anything that says ‘I “heart” blah blah’ and picked up a nice little hoodie that is so incredibly soft I could fall asleep just feeling it. But I digress.
Back to the cliffs and what from sea looked like a million stairs, but turned out to be a fairly manageable climb once we left the harbor and found the way up.
There’s a vibe about these small towns that I really enjoy, something about the light and just the feel of the air.
I was on a bit of a mission to pick up a few bottles of Limoncello during the bit of time I had, but on my next stop I will definitely explore that little side streets that beg you to wander down them.