The same weekend I went to the Spice and Grand bazaars I also went to The Princes’ Islands. A large group of us arranged a shuttle from Koç (A) to the ferry dock at Kabataş. If you have over 17 people going to a certain place, you can arrange a shuttle to take you there and back. Everyone pays a flat rate (much cheaper than public transportation with all the transfers) and you get where you are going much faster. The ferry ride was about an hour and a half long and stopped at multiple islands in the archipelago. Our group went to Büyükada (Large Island)(B), the largest island. This is a major tourist attraction and the ferry was packed. The islands are named the Princes’ islands because during the Byzantine period, princes were exiled here. The Ottomans also sent their exiled sultans to the islands. During the nineteenth century the islands were a popular destination for Istanbul’s well to do. There are still many well preserved Victorian era houses today. Leon Trotsky also spent a good amount of time there when he was exiled from the Soviet Union.
Büyükada is known as a tourist destination because there are many beach resorts and nice restaurants. When the weather is clear, you can see the southern Asian Istanbul coastline. There are no cars on the island (except for emergency vehicles) but you can take a horse drawn carriage almost anywhere. You can also rent bikes from about 100 different rental shops for 10TL ($5.50) for the whole day. This was my third day of sightseeing this weekend so I was pretty wiped out by the time we got to the islands. I have decided that I need a rest day during each weekend so I don’t go crazy and get super exhausted.
Hanane, Eelin, Jenn and I broke off from the large group and headed into the middle of town to look around. One major thing I noticed was that the horses were not the healthy strong ones of Oregon, but skinny, boney unhealthy looking ones that made me sad. We decided to not take a carriage ride because of that.
Here are some pics of the day:
A traditional Turkish breakfast includes: beyaz peynir (white cheese-kinda like feta), kaşar peyniri (melty cheese), cucumbers, tomatoes, olives, salam (kinda like bologna or salami), a bell pepper slice, honey, butter and lots of bread. I am hooked and am really going to miss this when I get back to the US.
Jenn at breakfast
Hanane and Eelin at breakfast.
The main street on Büyükada
The rear view of the carriages. I didn’t take a picture of the horses because they were too sad.
This was a really nice neighborhood. Very fancy houses with great views!
I have no idea what this building is.
Just like campus and Istanbul there were cats everywhere.
It was a bit overcast so the view wasn’t the best, but still pretty great!
The shore near the restaurants. I didn’t see the beach resorts, but I think they were on the other side of the island.
And of course we had dessert! This was kadayıf with pistachios. Yummy! The ice cream here is almost chewy in texture, but is very delicious.
I also found loukoumades which are actually Greek! I get them every year at the Greek Food fest in Portland, so I had to get some here as well!
My new bag that is helping to dress up my wardrobe. It’s real leather and a fake Mulberry (which I have been told is really expensive).
This is my roommate Nalan. She is a 4th year Industrial Engr. major. We get along really well
I decided to include the concert at Koç in this post because there were only a couple pictures of it. Koç held a welcome party for the school to start off the semester. They were going to have a bar at the event (normally alcohol is illegal on campus and in the dorms) but something happened and they didn’t have one. There were two performances: Model, a really popular Turkish band came and then a DJ. Model was really good, but I didn’t enjoy it a whole lot because I couldn’t understand any of the lyrics. I am still learning about Turkish music Some of the girls wanted to dance once the DJ came on, but the music was super mixed and even the good songs were hard to dance to. DJs play a lot of American pop music at clubs and at concerts.
Koç only has about 4,000 students, so this was a huge gathering!
Me, Aida (Bosnia), Hanane (Norway), Wing (Hong Kong), Stephanie (Hong Kong), and Rumeysa (Holland).
These giant stairs provide a semi amphitheater experience. Though there is also an amphitheater on campus as well.
People started lighting off fireworks, no biggie…
Three of us shared a waffle which is a fairly common street dessert. The waffle is a lot more sugary than the ones we make for breakfast and has ice cream and other toppings on it.
I’m getting closer to being caught up on posts! I should be almost done with catch-up by the end of the weekend.