Small breakfast this morning as I am taking a cooking class over lunch so don't want to spoil my appetite. Finally gathered up my washing and walked it over to the express laundry. Then it was time to head to the haghia Sophia. I lined up as it wasn't open yet but was closeish the front which was good as there wasn't too many people inside and crowding it up. Entered into the main building and it was an interesting mix of mosque and church. There are beautiful mosaics on the dome and then on walls surrounding. The main dome is a geometrical design and then large calligraphic roundels on the walls show an ottoman influence. The images of Christ, Mary, the marble carved panels and baptistry show the byzantine influences. Spent just over an hour walking around both the lower and upper levels and ground surrounding. The ablutions fountain was covered in scaffold so couldn't see it.
Walked to the restaurant where the cooking class ( cooking alaturka) was to be held. Meet the others in my group. Two couples one from USA and the other from Canada. We meet the teacher and then sat down going through the recipes. On the menu is a hot yoghurt soup, zucchini fritters, runner beans, stuffed eggplants and stuffed figs.
We got started in the kitchen by preparing the eggplants as they have to cook in oven before we stuff them.
Learnt cutting and dicing techniques for tomatoes, peppers, capsicum, garlic, herbs, onions and zucchini. Got to use a big giant sword knife to chop herbs and onion also.
After about 2 and half hours or so we had pretty much finished cooking and it was time to sit down and enjoy our food.
First course was the hot yoghurt soup it was really tasty. Next was the beans with zucchini fritters and garlic yoghurt. Main was the stuffed eggplant and bulgar pilaf and to finish was the dried figs stuffed with walnuts and herbal tea. It was a nice class with the other couples and hopefully can stay in touch with them.
Once the class had finished I walked back towards the grand bazaar / spice bazaar area as there were a couple of things I was looking to buy and send back to Australia tomorrow before the post office is shut on the weekend.
I really like walking around in this area the shops feel a lot more local and people are pushy tourists salemans just in there shops and there to help if you need. Walked around for a while and then came across the Haci Serif shop. This is a little cafe that serves cold ice cream topped with hot carmel halva. The two girls working in the shop were really friendly and the product tastes so yummy... They were impressed with the word and let me sign the wall with it. I am because a halva addict I think.... They serve it at breakfast I always have a slice.
Got back to the hotel and then remember that I had to go and pick up my washing. Walked back along the street between the palace and aya sophia. It was getting later in the evening so lots of the tourists were making there was to dinner so it was less crowded and was able to just stroll along looking at these amazing buildings.
Tried to think about repacking and sorting out my bag and shopping but lots interest and went to bed.