Our first day in Turkey we slept in until about 11 AM or so! For some reason, all of the flights to and from Turkey from Russia leave in the middle of the night – like after midnight (ugh). So by the time we arrived at our hotel room, it was after 2, so we decided to just take it easy the next morning.
When we went to Istanbul, we decided to stay on the Asian side of Istanbul mostly because of the Marriott even though most people stay on the European side, plus it was also cheaper… of course. It really turned out to be such a happy accident, and I am SO glad that we did.
For starters, we got to take the ferry boat over to the European side every day, which was a lot of fun, and we worked harder to figure out the public transport system. We did take a taxi from our hotel to Kadikoy to get on the ferry boat and see that part of town because the bus would have taken 45 minutes or so, but I think it was worth it. I was really impressed by public transport in Turkey in general.
Isla loved taking the ferry boat, and we had a great time too! It was neat to interact with the locals everyday.
Now back to Kadikoy, our first day, we knew we would be meeting friends for dinner on the Asian side and we would be sleeping in, so we decided to just spend that day walking around the area and not try to make it to the European side. Many Turks live in Kadikoy and commute over to the European side for their jobs. Its developing a reputation as a “hip” place for the young professionals to live.
We took a taxi from our hotel to Kadikoy and the driver just dropped us off in the middle of a very busy intersection by a giant bull statue!!!
Isla loved the bull. I did not love the traffic, and I kind of wished that he had dropped us off in a more remote area.
We wanted to figure out where the ferry boats left for our following days in Istanbul so we quickly moved towards the water. After we figured that out, we made for the promenade by the bay, and let Isla climb all over the rocks.
She liked watching the ships too!
We worked her out a little bit at a seaside “gym” (what a great idea!)… we’ve noticed she’s getting a little hefty in the middle .
We also came across a great playground for Isla
Awww… so sweet!
After a while, it stopped being all fun and games, and Isla started getting violent…
She’s a delinquent in the making! We gotta watch that girl…
After the promenade, we went and walked around in the shops and cafes of the area. Check out that amazing produce!
Much of the produce sold in Russia comes from Turkey, and since the Krasnodar region where we live happens to be one of the most fertile in Russia, we also have a lot of great produce. This has made Russians in my region a little bit snobbish towards Turkish produce and I have had a many friend at the market tell me not to buy this or that because (wrinkles nose in disgust)… its from Turkey! I however, do not have this prejudice, and am thankful for anything fresh, delicious produce that comes my way!
Nick and I were getting hungry, and BONUS, Isla had fallen asleep, so we decided to stop somewhere and eat. I hope I make it clear how much I love Isla on the blog because I don’t want to come across as unloving when I say this BUT… I love, love, love it when she falls asleep at restaurants when we are on vacation, it makes for such a pleasant meal with Nick .
This is the only picture I took when we were at the sidewalk café. The owner enjoyed chatting with us in his limited English, and was so sweet. He even continued to be sweet when he found out we were from Texas, the home of George W Bush! (We get that a lot on vacation…).
Here’s a picture I took as we were leaving! All in all, a great day and I am so glad that we stayed on the Asian side, and were able to have a feel for the “real” Turkey!