It doesn’t seem as if many tourists make the trip across the Bosporus to the Asian side of Istanbul: our fellow passengers on the Saturday morning trip to Üsküdar had shopping bags rather than cameras. But it was worth a visit, not just to escape the crowds on the European side, but also to get a glimpse of a very different part of the city.
Tiled Mosque of Üsküdar
Spices, fruit and lunch
We stopped for lunch in a traditional lokanta, a basic café where I was pleased to note that we were the only tourists (although the dual language menu suggested this might not be the case in the high season). Although the staff spoke little or no English they were friendly and efficient. When I tentatively ordered something that was not available, the waiter gestured that I should follow him to the cooking counter so that I could see what was on offer and choose for myself. A very nice meal of lentil soup, chicken and vegetables, followed by tel kedayif (a sort of soft fat baklava) and thick strong Turkish coffee.
Back at the waterfront we resisted the offer of a guided tour from an enthusiastic shoe-shine man and stood for a while watching the lines of fishermen who seem to crowd into every available space on both sides of the Bosporus.