Nov 05, 2009 04:32pm ( Istanbul )

My last full day in Istanbul was a beautiful day. The sun is bright, not a cloud in the sky, and the temperature is a very comfortable 63 degrees.

Angelo got the day off today and was going home this morning. Considering he sleeps at the guesthouse throughout the week, that´s sort of a big deal. He ask me to go part of the way with him and İ happily agreed. His house is on the Asian side of Istanbul past a neighborhood called Üsküdar.

We walked almost a mile to the ferry docks and hopped a boat across the Bosphorus. Fifteen minutes later we pulled into Üsküdar. This is more a local neighborhood unspoiled by tourists - and the prices reflect that. We toured two mosques that were around 1500 years old and then rested at a cafe and enjoy some tea. Turks love their tea (çay, pronounced like chai).

During our walk, we came to an open-air market with vendors selling fresh fish, vegetables, meats, and much more. At one of the butchers I was curious what some of the offerings were because I did´t recognise some of the meat. Apparently, Turks like to eat pıg hoofs, cow stomach, and brain.

Angelo believes that when you visit a country you should try their food, so we walked around the corner and found a restaurant serving cow stomach soup. I´m a good sport so I ate a bowl and while I won´t say it was awful, I doubt that I´ll ever eat another bowl.

Angelo was off to his house so we parted ways and I made my way back to the docks to catch a ferry to Beşiktaş back on the European side. I walked as far as my legs would take me and then hopped the Metro for one stop, walked across the Galata bridge that spans the Halıç (Golden Horn River), trekked the narrow winding streets of Eminönü looking for good deals on Turkish gifts, and finally made my way back to the guesthouse to really rest my back and legs. Whew!

In another hour, I´ll be back out to eat my last meal in Istanbul. At 6am tomorrow, I´ll ride the Metro to the airport and catch my flight at 9am to Paris and then on to Detroit and Toledo.