Istanbul has been covered in snow last week, unlike the springlike weather in England. I was determined though to visit the Ciya restaurant, famous for keeping the traditional, almost forgotten Turkish recipes alive. And it was well worth every effort.
For me, the most pleasant way of going from the European side to Asian side of Istanbul (and vice versa) is via the traditional, nostalgic ferries. And you get to see the Bosphorus and the coast, as well as enjoy a traffic free 15 minutes journey. I once again admired grand buildings like the century old elegant Haydarpasa Terminal(busiest rail terminal in Turkey and the Middle East)with seagulls of Marmara at the background.
One of the treats of a ferry journey in Istanbul during winter is the offer of Salep drink. Salep is made from salep flour, that is made from grinding the dried tubers of Orchis mascula, Orchis militaris and related species of wild orchids. This flour, which is readily available at home, is then mixed with hot milk to make the salep drink. Turks love this drink in winter time, served with a generous pinch of cinnamon over the top. I enjoyed a cup of salep made at the ferry on the way to Kadikoy, really warmed the heart and soul.
You can also hop on and off at the traditional ferries; why not stop by at Ortakoy, enjoy the wonderful Ortakoy mosque, feed the pidgeons and have a little cay break? Istanbul is always calling, snow or sunshine:)