The breakfast at the hotel is brilliant. Yogurt, cereal, eggs, and the best produce I have had in a long time. The tomatoes are incredible! They have some really delicious breads too, but only served Sanka coffee. But finding fresh coffee anywhere else was no problem.
Day 2 was quite an adventure. We started out at the Turkish-Islamic Arts museum, which was fascinating. Then we meandered to the Grand Bazaar. With over 4000 shops packed in a labyrintine maze, we were totally overwhelmed. It was made worse because we really weren't shopping for anything. But there were lots of people who were so the hawkers had plenty of people to bark at. On our way out of there we wound up in an alley that was right out of the markets in the Harry Potter movies. Very cool.
From there we walked across the Bosphorous and up to Galata Tower for a panoramic view of Istanbul, and the Bosphorous. It totally feels like a sister city to San Francisco.
We then set out to find a restaurant recommended to us by a Turkish woman we met on the flight over. The place was Galata Evi and it was an adventure finding it. We walked in circles, up and down hills, and back and forth through alleys with no luck. But we met many locals who were more than eager to help us out. One man even walked us many blocks up a hill to find it. Of course, when we did find it we realized we had already walked past it unnoticed. But once we were there, all our efforts paid off. Our hosts were very friendly and gregarious, and they served us some very delicious food and plenty of conversation about current affairs and Turkish archeological history. This was a fantastic recommendation!
We ended our adventure with a long meandering stroll through the residential area near our hotel. It was very illuminating and educational. It's always great to see how the locals live!