Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Haydarpasa Train Station

The Haydarpasa train station was featured in "Ghost Train to the Eastern Star" written by Paul Theroux. The author is repeating his journey made by train some 30 years earlier. My Nazareth, PA book group is reading this book for our July meeting. After visiting for a few days, Theroux departs Istanbul via the train to Kars, from this train station. Haydarpasa is located on the Asian side of Istanbul on the Bosphorus. Checking the train schedule, the train to Kars leaves every morning at 7:10 a.m. and arrives there 7:30 p.m. the next day. The train station can best be viewed from water, as on the ferry departing from just opposite the exit doors. The current building was completed in 1909 in the Neo-Renaissance style, and has serviced trains going to Baghdad and Damascus.
Inside, arches, stained glass and plaster relief are used.

Before you get on your train, you can stock up on snacks and water.

For passengers terminating at Haydarpasa, you can take a ferry from this terminal to the other side of the Bosphorus, to pick up a train heading to the west or to visit the old historic section of Istanbul.

While in Istanbul, Theroux meets two well known authors; Orhan Pamuk, whose "My Name is Red" is one of my favorite books and Elif Shafak, whose historical fiction "The Forty Rules of Love" about the influence of the 13th century mystic Shams from Tabriz, Persia (Iran) on the mystic Rumi from Konak, Turkey is on the shelf of the Nazareth, PA library.

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