Brilliant day! Started with rain and some people in the private part of the accommodation complaining that they had been flooded by heavy rain on their bed overnight. Weather forecast looked a bit dodgy (19C and thunderstorms) but decided just to change clothes rather than change plans. Thank goodness. Rather than doing like many sensible people do – look for inside activities to do on a rainy day – I chose to visit Adalar (Princes’ Islands) for the day, specifically Buyukada (the Big Island).
Caught the 10.30 ferry from Kabatas via Kadikoy and the smaller islands. An hour and a half later we landed in the main street of the ‘capital’ of Buyukada (?) I’d read about the weekend crowds at this time of year and had decided to go on a weekday instead. The boat was about 60-70% full and was mainly doing drop-offs rather than pickups. Negotiated a 4 hour pushbike hire (10TL) and got onto the roads with a chicken sandwich and a bottle of iced tea in the backpack. What lovely architecture! 4-5 storey weatherboard places each overlooking the other on the way up the hill. A house painter could make a million if people could afford to pay – many places had seriously peeling paintwork that would (in Australia) require scaffolding to reach.
Cycled out of town overtaking the horse-drawn carriages (Phaetons) and their passengers and then being overtaken as we progressed downhill.
Pedalled up to Luna Park, the main intersection in my figure of 8 circuit of the island, stashed the bike in the bushes and walked up the cobbled path to the small Greek monastery of St George. Reasonable views from the top but not much else apart from a the church and a small cafe amongst the pine trees.
Back to Luna Park, collected the bike and followed the road round the island past the Phaeton horse depot which looks like a pair of huge sheds (horse dormitory?) surrounded by acres of horse shit being duly shovelled. Back to Luna Park (Phaeton central outside town) via the remote southern road – one stretch having dozens of small plaques on the wall remembering killed Turkish armed forces members – and then down the hill and along the east coast up to the metropolis again.
Tootled around the side streets, laneways, backways and foreshore of Buyukada town enjoying the Bougainvillea, Oleander and architecture amongst the treed streets.
Chose to catch the 5.55pm ferry because it got in around sunset to Kabatas (7.30 tonight) and caught a brilliant sunset behind Sultanahmet, the mosques and Topkapi palace as well as Galata and Karakoy. Couldn’t have timed it better!
What a pleasant day away from the noise and bustle of the city. Brilliant! More information available here.