The afternoon tour started with a pickup at my Istanbul hotel (European-side). The tour was about the stroll through the entrancing Egyptian (Spice) Bazaar and a cruise along the landmark lined waters of the Bosphorus Strait during the 3.5-hour guided tour in Istanbul. After the pick up from hotel, the guide drove me to Istanbul’s Spice Bazaar where there were abundant spices and a wide range of selection for edible treats. One must taste Baklava while in Istanbul. If you don’t taste it your trip to Turkey is not complete an important part of the country. Baklava is a very old pastry. Many ethnic groups with ancestry going back to the Middle East claim the origin of this luscious pastry. The historical documentation is not solid, yet there is strong evidence that its origin comes from Central Asian Turkic tribes. The recipe may sound too easy to be true: chopped nuts are spread in between the phyllo (yufka) layers, dressed with butter, baked and sweetened with syrup or honey. But the excellence depends on the quality of the flour, the thinness of the dough (phyllo) and the proportion of the syrup.
The final stop was one of the most iconic which one surely can not miss out: the bustling Grand Bazaar. It was a great stroll through its colourful alleys, more than 60 in all, in awe of the crafts, smells, sounds and sights. As one of the most famous souks in the world, you won’t want to miss this. Grand Bazaar is closed Sundays.