Wow, what a buzzing city, over 12 Million people living here, it is just fantastic. I have just arrived this morning at the harbour and can see the Hagia Sofia and behind the blue mosque. So there is quite a bit on the program, but what I really want to do is popping into the spice market which is not too far from the ship. On the way there I was lucky to find a small fish market which we will hit in two weeks when we are back in Istanbul. There was lovely fresh mackerel, sea bream and salmon trout.
The spice market is just fantastic but there is not just spices, no there is cheese, meats, loads of different sweets and plenty shops selling fake sun glasses and branded clothing.
The one thing I was looking for was saffron.......I did find but the quality is very poor, so if you ever in Istanbul do NOT buy any saffron. There is as well "Indian Saffron" it is just simply curcuma and curry powder. But then there are all the lovely smells, the chillies, the fenugrek, then the dates, apricots, halva, Turkish delight in all forms and variations, one could spend hours in there. Next time I will get some good for a Turkish high tea, sweet! The smell on the market is wonderful and makes me hungry, especially the Asian spices are great.
The dates are absolutely amazing, the size already and the taste, unbelievable. There are several varieties, all of them are really nice and sweet.