Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Dispatches from Istanbul (5)

A mid-morning ferry from Eminonu took us to Eyup this morning. Eyup, the alleged resting place of the Prophet's companion Abu Ayyub al-Ansari, lies at the head of the Golden Horn. As it technically lies outside the precincts of the city, Eyup was, and still is used as one of Istanbul's cemeteries. The added allure of being buried in the vicinity of a holy personality has pretty much transformed it into a necropolis.

It was a cooler day today which thankfully eased our treck up the hillside overlooking Eyup to the Pierre Loti cafe, offering some of the best views of the Istanbul cityscape. A frequent sight at Eyup is of mace-wielding young boys dressed in regal clothes sheepishly in tow to family and usually gorging on sweets. Surely no amount of sweet-based bribery can divert their attention from what lies ahead later that day: sunnet or circumcision.

I couldn't resist ordering a Superman Pide for dinner from a local eatery we've discovered. Who could? A pide is a boat shaped pizza not too dissimilar to a calzone. The superman variant boasts a topping of salami, Konyan cheese, fried meat and egg.

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