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NNs Adventures We have traveled over the years but will be retiring in 2017 and want to spend more time traveling the world. We've been to Turkey, Sri Lanka, Africa twice and a number of trips to Europe and St Lucia. Kathleen/Thom Ennen

Day 2 – Istanbul

TURKEY | Saturday, 14 November 2015 | Views [181]

Started out early again to catch the 8:40 ferry to the Princes Islands as we didn’t want to delay until the next ferry at 10:40. It’s a 90 min ride with stops at several of the smaller islands. It was sunny and a bit hazy so photos aren’t that clear, but the views were spectacular and unfortunately the camera can’t quite capture them the same way.

The shipping traffic was really great!!! And we were amazed at how extensive Istanbul really is when you see the Asian side. The city like skyline continue out of sight.

When we got to Adalar we stopped for our first real Turkish breakfast. I had a plate with a boiled egg, salami, white cheese, feta cheese, breads, olives, tomatoes and cucumbers. As we were eating Thom read in one of the books that the restaurants on the water near the ferry landing tended to be mediocre and pricy. I tend to agree but at approximately $11 for 2, maybe not that pricey by our standards.

Adalar is an island that’s very busy in the summer as there are several reportedly nice beaches. Our ferry was fairly crowded for this Thursday trip so I can’t imagine a weekend in July when it’s 90deg in Istanbul!!! The very large house/villas, many boarded up for the season made me think this was perhaps a Nantucket kind of island. Small distinct town center, limited transport options (no privately owned motorized vehicles) and lots of restaurants and small shops with many expensive things.

We did the recommended path for the walk up to the top, with the first hour a gently upward sloping climb. Many opt to take the 2 horse drawn Phaeton carriages. The clattered by continuously on the road we were on. You could hear and smell them coming. It wasn’t until later in the day that I realized the “horsey” smell came from the poop bag hanging under each horse’s tail.

In the large paved area at the top there was a small restaurant and many small venders selling souvenirs. Here we learned the very top, with a monestary and great views was another 20 min up a much, much steeper slope. Thom’s knees opted not to do this part but having gotten this far, I forged onward.

It was a steep, huff and puff sort of climb that took about 25 minutes and I stopped to rest and have water twice. It was also getting very warm, even though it was about 65 deg. At the top the views were great thought the haze meant it was hard to capture any of it in photos. There was a large lighthouse, cell tower and small monestary.

The trip down took about 20 min and then we identified a shorter path downward where half it was not travelled by the carriages.

One thing we’ve noticed here in Turkey is that there are cats everywhere. ON top of vehicles, trash bins, tucked into motorscooters, lying on walls, in the sun, everywhere. When you eat the sit next to you and reach up with a paw. I decided the day on Adalar would be my day for taking cat pictures.

We got back down to the town with enough time to walk along the waterfront and have a beer before the return trip.

Instead of returning all the way back to Kabatas dock, we got off at the Kadakoy dock on the Asian side. What a bustling place! It serves as a transit hub for many buses and there is traffic and good sized buildings with very large, changing, advertising images on the facades.

We wandered inward through the market area to the highly recommended Ciya Sofrasi restaurant. A delicious truly Turkish dinner – lamb wonders and eggplant/lamb-beef mix was fabulous. We did try the figgy/milky pudding and it, as reported, was really good. I don’t generally like puddings.

We wandered around a bit after dinner and headed back to the ferry. Picked up some baklava and Thom got a baguette at a bakery along the way.  The baklava was a fabulous desert later, after we got back to the flat.

Once back on the European side, we had anticipated the long walk up the hill to our flat when I saw a sign for the metro funicular/tramway to Taksim square. This was puzzling so we decided to take it. It’s much easier to walk the 10 min downhill to the flat from Taksim than the 20 min up the hill from Kabatas! We learned it really was cable driven tram due to the steep climb uphill. The great cable gear wheel was at the top and there was a booth in front of the cable area where the driver sat. It was perhaps a 2 minute trip and it was strange to be in what felt like a subway car but it was on a steep tilt with half the car at a lower level, down 3 stairs. It was the F1 line on the metro map and it connects just the 2 stations, Taksim and Kabatas.

It was an easy walk down to the flat!! Nice day.

Tomorrow, Friday, will be Topkapi Palace and the rest of our “sights to see” that we can fit in.

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