Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Official day 1: Parliament + lunch + university + ice cream + night lights

Today was the first official day of our trip.  We started off the day with a meeting with a Parliament member, and got a tour of the building, which was amazing.

Then we went off and had lunch.  Food has been a serious issue for some of us.  It's been hard to find vegetarian food for Raminder (serious issue), and hard to find anything besides a chicken kabob/skewer for me since I don't eat lamb (which is mixed into most of the meat here) (minor issue).  I have had the same exact chicken kabob dish for the last 3 meals.  And the rest of the week isn't looking any different.

But at least this place we went to for lunch was nice.

This was called something translated into "mystery surprise" or something, because inside of this fried dough is meat (surprise!).  Sadly, the meat is lamb:

The waiter brought out an extra veggie plate for Raminder once he learned she was a vegetarian.  This made her happy enough to bust out her camera:

This is Turkish tea.  It's very strong, and a cube of sugar is usually served with it.  I see this everywhere -- cups and cups and cups of it.  There's a whole culture of it here.  Very interesting to learn about.

Bread is served with every meal.  Every meal.

And water is a big thing for us tourists.  It almost feels like a special commodity for me here, I guess because we have to be so careful about not drinking the tap water or uncapped bottles and such.  But almost all places so far serve you water in water bottles rather than pour water into open glasses.

After lunch, we went back to the hotel and figured out the logistics of our next visit, which was to a children's center at a university. 


And some pics from the university:

After the visit, we had some time to kill, so Nick and I went out and had ice cream (or sorbet? or something else?).  I got hazelnut, and Nick got blackberry and kiwi.  It was good.  Kind of thicker than ice cream.  Also, it's not scooped into a sphere; it's cut into thin slices and placed like so:

And some shots as we walked around before dinner (which turned out to be the same place we had lunch at, so it was another chicken kabob for me):


  1. Okay, glad to know that we are both not fond of lamb. But I am LOVING your shots (from the steam of the tea cup to the deliciousness and slobber-worthy sight of the flat ice cream cones). Glad you at least have wi-fi to blog. And is that your new wide-angle enabling night-time pictures of the cars? OMG..must put on my birthday wish list!

  2. Thank you! And thank goodness for wifi. And yes to my wide angle zoom (28-75mm, constant 2.8 aperture) -- it has not come off my camera. It is SO GOOD. I highly, highly recommend it. It makes food shots easier, too.