Istanbul – Day 2

Sunday, September 20th

I’m a week behind posting these pics.  The final day of my quick trip to the City on Seven Hills (yes, there is a tie-in to the same nickname for Rome–look it up) was spent on a trip to the Princes Islands in the Sea of Marmara.   We departed later in the day than we’d planned so the ferry was packed (advice:  get on one of the first ferries of the day); the three of us were unable to find seats so down we sat on the floor.  A small snack shop provided beverages and goodies to eat and employees circulated through the boat with coffee, tea, and simit.  The cost of the 100-minute ride was only 5TL (~US$1.65) each way, with the “fast ferries” costing slightly more for an hour-long ride.

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After quick stops at three islands, we arrived at Büyükada, the largest of the four islands open to non-residents.  Despite the craziness of tourists converging on the small harbor-front town, it seemed a wonderful respite from the city.  There are no automobiles allowed on the island so transportation is via bicycle (available for rent) or horse-drawn carriage.  We decided to stretch our legs so ventured up the hill outside town before returning to the harbor for lunch.

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The return trip:

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The last two pics are looking west at the old city.  A restful day prior to getting on the overnight bus back to Ankara.  The 7am arrival back at my apartment meant just enough time to get ready for the start of the school day.

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