Day 2: The Princes Islands

Random Restauranteers

I was trying to take a picture of the restraunt because it’s very pretty… but the owner thought i was taking a picture of him. He called his chef… he looked confused.. so to be nice I took a picture of them. They don’t seem to like each other too much.

After breakfast, I headed out for the famed Princes Islands. The dock was about a 15 minute walk from the hotel. In Sultanahmet transport is primarily by foot, then rail, then car.

I was told to go in this direction, then that direction, then past this light pole, and I would see the ferry.

I ended up getting lost and walked around everywhere which was nice, because I found the perfect restaurant to eat at later. After I found the dock, I purchased my fare for 2 liras, waited until noon and boarded the gigantic ferry. The Princes Islands are composed of four islands and were used in the past to house deposed monarchs and other members of the royal family who had no position to ascend the throne. It was a nice place to shoo them away and leave everyone else at peace.

The first and second islands looked pretty uninteresting, but the third and fourth seemed like they had a bit of history. Everything is cold. The weather is cold, the rain is cold, the railings are cold, the seats are cold, but thank god the tea is hot.

The islands looked really nice. Check out the pictures below. There are salesman at the door of every restaurant pleading with you to eat there. They don’t work individually, they work in teams. They’ll follow you around until you hear them out or until they’ve gone too far. In fact, the restaurant I was going to eat at on the 4th island, Ali Babas, had a salesman waiting on the dock of the 3rd island to convince people to eat there.

These people are organized.

 

Ferry Dock Station

This is a view of the ferry dock station where you buy tickets for the islands.

On the 4th island, I rented a bike for 2.50 liras, and rode it around everywhere taking in the beautiful scenery, the quiet people, the beautiful markets, but most of all the small Mayberry-like culture. Prayed on the island, and headed to Ali Baba’s.

View from a restricted zone

My view from a restricted area... I wasn't supposed to see this view...

Horse Carriage

No cars allowed on the island. Only horses and bicycles!

Row of Sandals at the mosque

They provide wooden sandals outside the mosque on the islands

After my visit to the island’s, I went back to the hotel and rested a bit. Taksim Square (akin to Times Square in NYC) was my next destination.

I was told Taksim Square is supposed to be the party district. Lots of cafes, restaurants, and a few night clubs. It was actually 80% night clubs and the rest restaurants and cafes.

Since I don’t goto clubs, this was pretty much a waste. It was nice being around a ton of people from different countries, and hanging around the café’s and talking to strangers. The cool Turkish burger didn’t hurt either. Anyhow, it’s been a long day. Time to hit the sack.

Tomorrow: Museum, Tokpaki Palace, and grand bazaar. Last day in Istanbul.

Pomegranate Juice!

Pomegranate juice

Fruit Stand

The veggie/fruit stands on the islands are crazy. Turks love pomegranates.

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