G and I fell right to sleep but woke several times. I slept through the morning call to prayer but G heard it. We finally got up about 9 am and got out to get supplies. First stop coffee. Around the corner is a local coffee roaster. We order cafe lattes and some ground coffee for the morning. It is called the Cherry Bean Coffees and it was just what we needed. Next we tried to find the grocery store. It was supposed to be in the 'ugly building' but didn't see it. So we headed down the street the Migros M-stop was to be located and found that store. We got some morning supplies for later this week. Then hauled them back up the 5 flights to the apartment and then headed back down for breakfast at Molly's Cafe.
Now to find Istiklal Caddesi. We headed up Galipdede Caddesi which is fascinating. The street is filled with stores selling musical instruments; many types of string guitar, lutes, and cymbals. We will become very familiar with this street over the next few days.
This street takes us up the hill to Tünel. Istiklal Caddesi starts here and runs for about a mile and half. It it pedestrian and lined with a variety of shops, restaurants. A charming old tram from early 1900's runs along the middle.
Unfortunately the rain had started. We wanted to buy a transit card for the next few days. They now have an electronic card that you can fill to use. It is also amazing the wide variety of restaurants along the street selling everything from greasy Turkish hamburgers, doner, shish kabobs to ethnic women rolling out dough for gözleme. But by now we are soaked and head back after stopping at Inci Pastanesi for a cream puff.
We picked up a couple of Efes beers and hang out. We almost call it a night but I convinced G to go out for dinner. I spied a good fish restaurant that I saw written up in Istanbul Eats - http://istanbuleats.com/2010/02/the-best-little-fish-house-in-galata-gets-a-bit-bigger/">Furreyya. We had a bowl of fish soup, a chopped tomato salad along with grilled fish, sea bream for me and sea bass for G. I loved the bream and the bass wasn't bad either. Total was 55 lira - not bad at all considering it was 37 for breakfast.
We headed back up Galipdede Caddesi to explore Istiklal Caddesi at night since the rain had stopped for a bit. We explored the alleys of Asmali Mecit and Nevizade with the restaurant hawker trying to entice us in for a meal. Some places were packed and other really empty. Most of the ones in the guide books were pretty full.
We also stopped for some turkish ice cream at Mado. This ice cream is made from goats milk and thicked with the root of orchids. It was quite good. Mado has a nice selection also. We had pistachio and chestnut. I had to have chestnut because the streets have been lined with carts selling hot chestnuts.
The rain started again and we headed back. Our first full day in Instanbul.
Some street and food scenes
Music store in Galata