Day 3 in Istanbul was my favorite kind of travel day- roaming around, stopping whenever we saw beautiful things to photograph, and our only destination revolved around food.

We’d originally set out to take the ferry to the Asian side of the city, but the ferry was out of commission for the day (we thought it was because it was New Years Day at first, but later found out it was for a different reason).

So we walked along the water toward a place where Becca likes to get these giant baked potatoes that are filled with virtually everything under the sun, and while walking we stopped to admire colorful scarfs,

colorful balloons strung up along the water for these guys to shoot with BB guns- but of course I chose to use them as a photo-op while they yelled at us in Turkish to basically get out of the way or they’d shoot us-

Worth it!

This was just one bird amongst many that were hanging out on a tree- ah, the power of the telephoto, how I love thee.

Then we arrived at the little area where the food was, which was also the place of Becca’s favorite photo-op in the city.

Becca got some great shots of these boys playing along the water, running up to the viewfinder that were awesome.

have I mentioned that Istanbul has lots of pollution? Yeeeeaaaahhh…

Then we got the food. Best thing I ate on my trip was definitely the kumpir, which is a baked potato with the innards mixed with butter and cheese, then put back in the skin and topped with every random food on the planet. It’s delectable.

As if that wasn’t enough food, we also wanted to get a Turkish dessert waffle, which is kind of like a waffle wrap topped and filled with anything you could ever want. I think we got chocolate sauce, bananas, kiwi, strawberries, pistachios, and whipped cream. Something like that.

Then we walked around the area for a while, looking at all the things we wanted to buy which included but not limited to,

a cluster of candles and bead thingys,

beautiful tapestries,

these long knitted hats that I almost bought one of, in black. It took a lot of self control not to buy it, but would I seriously wear it at home? Doubtful…

(This might be my favorite shot I’ve taken so far with my new lensbaby. It’s so hard to know if the sweet spot is actually in focus when you’re looking through the viewfinder, because my eyesight is lacking, and the lens is manual focus)

Both of us wanted to buy these great vintage looking prints of Istanbul, I wanted about 17 different ones and at 12TL each, I was pretty proud of myself for walking away with none.

We both wanted lots of the jewelry, but the prices were a little steep so we passed- for now.

Can you tell I had the lensbaby on for this part of our day?

Afterwards, we caught a bus to go to a pretty inexpensive Hookah bar to play Tavla, try some apple-mint hookah, and get me a goddamn diet coke with ice. I had two, and Becca was mortified to order them for me while she had chai like everyone else.

This double smoke-blowing moment with the waiter was a total accident. Love it when that happens.

Yes, this is an odd shot of me, but it shows a wider view of the place. I think after this we went back to the house, got a couple bottles of wine, and relaxed for the rest of the night.