I’m in Istanbul for a week attending the ICEEPSY conference. I actually am one of the keynote speakers. I’ve been to Istanbul many times and refer to it as my favorite city. The people are friendly, the food amazing, and the mix of old and new abound. Seafood and doner kebabs are staples, as is Effes, the Budwieser of the region. No meal is complete without Turkish tea and a local cat to clean year plate.
While at the conference this week, I enjoyed many lunches at the market. The market was originally constructed in 1894, but a fire destroyed half the roof in 1896. Following repairs the market reopened in 1897. Along with the many shops for tourists, many locals do their daily shopping in the market. It is hard to resist the sames of cheeses and salamis that the merchants are quick to offer anyone who lingers by their cases.
A light drizzle did not dampen my spirits nor did I allow it to dilute the wine. Spent over five hours visiting the vendors, learning about the wide variety of grapes grown in Hungary. Met people from across the globe. Certainly wine is a unifying element of humanity! Met some gents from England, a retired couple from California, and a family from New Zealand. Everyone was having a lovely time. Along with the wines, the food was scrumptious. My favorite was the open-pit smoked salmon and the dark chocolate chili truffle. Portions from all the vendors were huge! I tried to capture the essence of the festive in photos, but you need to book a trip and experience this annual event for yourself. (Hotels book far in advance for this event, so plan ahead.)
I’ve been in Budapest all week attending a professional conference. After the late afternoon session, a colleague and I ventured up to the Castle District to savor the grape
harvest at the Budapest Wine Festival. What an amazing event. Over 200 vineyards were on display showcasing their wines. A prepayment card was used to purchase wines and foods. Upon leaving I was refunded the unused amount. The entire night cost less then $40 USD and I had the pleasure of sampling over 6 wines, grilled salmon, oven baked pizza, and a chocolate chili truffle. This event is not to missed.
Some of you have asked for details about our Paris apartment. We booked it throug Homeaway. Great site. Extremely pleased. Everything was as described. The owner met us at the unit when we arrived and we have his phone number in case we need anything.
For the typical tourist sites such as Notre Dame and the Effiel Tower would be their first destinations when in the City of Lights. For us, it is a bookstore. Not just any bookstore, but Shakespeare and Company. The original store was home to such literary figures as Joyce, Hemingway, and Ginsberg. It’s current location, across from Notre Dame. The reading rooms on the second floor feature live music and book readings.
Here is the view from our Paris apartment, situated in the heart of Paris, just a few blocks from Notre Dame. The neighborhood is filled with cafes and shops. The metro station is just a block away. This is the perfect location to serve as our home while we explore Paris and the surrounding area.