there is so much to do in Istanbul, that it might seem hard to spend most of a day in a cooking class but we were so glad we did. Day started with spice tasting in Spice Market. It was great because going into one of those places can be overwhelming. We really liked the shop we visited and bought tons of spices you can't find in the US. Then Selin personally escorted us to Asian side where her husband picked us up. We spent a beautifully sunny afternoon in her gorgeously decorated apartment surrounded by trees and tweeting birds, cooking 6-7 dishes (mezes, main course split belly eggplant and incredibly pilaf dish). Everything, needless to say, was super deliciously. We ate like pigs and they took us back to ferry and even provided a token and instructions on how to do it. So, much more than a typical cooking class, a bit of immersion into a real Istanbul neighborhood and a good intro to markets of this amazing city. Don't skip the big sites but you will go nuts waiting in the endless lines. Do some interactive travel like this to balance out the Disneyland like lines at Topkapi and other sites. Another thing we really, really enjoyed was the ebru marbling paint class taught at Caferaga Medressesi by a master painter Josh.
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