Friday, December 24, 2010

Princes' Islands

Yesterday, we had very fine weather and I took the opportunity to ferry to the Princes' Islands located in the Sea of Marmara and inside the Istanbul city limits. As we departed from the ferry pier in Kadikoy, we had a view of Haydarpasa train station being repaired. The day I flew into Istanbul, toward the end of November, there was smoke in the air and the source was the roof of this train station. It was quite a blaze, although reports have suggested that the damage was solely to the roof. I was glad to see it being repaired so quickly.
As we headed out to sea, the seagulls joined us and escorted us the entire route to and from the islands. Passengers throw seeds and small pieces of bread to the birds, and are delighted when a bird catches the treat mid-air.

The ferry stops at 4 islands that are part of the Princes' Islands chain. The islands have some year round residents and many summer homes. No cars are allowed on the islands, so they are a bit more peaceful than the rest of Istanbul. We docked at Burgazada island to let some passengers off and more on. Students use the ferry for commuting to school on an island other than their home island.
I got off the ferry at the last stop, Buyukada, or Big Island, and took a walk around. The horses and carraiges are available for touring, and in this case, for delivery of a new washer. The island streets seem very large with no cars on them.
The harbor area had lots of boats, both in and out of the water.

My favorite home was white with pink shutters.

Bicycles are the fast mode of transportation for residents and are available for rent to the tourists.

After walking around for a few hours, I jumped back on the ferry for the return one hour and 15 minute trip back to Kadikoy. The cats were waiting for returning school children at one of the island stops.

I'll repeat this trip, stopping at another of the islands for my walk around. It will be sooner rather than later if this good weather continues.

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