Once I get past the hair raising motorway into the outskirts of Istanbul I find myself on the longest cycle path in the area and riding alongside the Sea of Marmara and a long green park that leads right into the heart of Asian Istanbul.
I stopped several times – first for my now favourite durum çig Kofte/Ayran combo, then to try some dondura – or Turkish icecream – odd, stringy, but delicious – it must have some kind of gum in it? Then I stopped for various coffees and smoothies (expensive – just like Costa prices at home).
It was dark before I reached the ferry area – and I had to go the wrong way down a one way street and ask in a sports shop for directions before I found the right place. There are many, many ferries crossing the Bosphurus – I know that now – but knew nothing then. This is always the way when entering a new city – navigating new roads, new rules, new cultures.
I have no photographs of the early days in Istanbul because I lost my camera on a ferry (or it was nicked, or I left it in the loo – will never know). But Istanbul at night is fairy land – magical place of mystery.
Once I got to the tower at Galata – Rapunzel’s tower, since it was built for very similar reasons, or so the story is told* – I found the Hostel by asking – and was escorted around the corner by a very helpful guy (who’d phoned them asking for directions). I knew the World Hostel was close, but not THAT close!
*Well- I read a story SOMEWHERE that said the tower was constructed by a wealthy merchant to house and protect his daughter – as her death, by snakebite, had been foretold by soothsayers. Of course she died anyway, because a snake hid in the basket of fruit he brought her. I repeat: where I read this I do not know, because Wikipedia says the (current) Tower of Galata was constructed by the Genoese in 1348 at the highest point of Galata and called Christea Turris by them.
NB no pics for this day because I managed to lose my camera as I said above. Repetition repetition.