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Saturday, 23 May 2015


Kool Kadıköy

Bye Bye Beyoğlu
Kadıköy is the "real" Istanbul that resides across the busy Bosphorus in Asia.  Sultanahmet is mainly for tourists and workers in the tourist industry.  Kadıköy is where the locals work and play.  The shops and markets are for the locals.  Live music is a passion captured in a video below.  
Crowd watching us leave

Unlike Southern Turkey, Istanbul was mainly dreary if not rainy in March.  But today it was gloriously sunny and we had finished our planned day a bit early at 15:00 h.  So we decided to take our first ferry trip across the Bosphorus to Asia.  That was mistake number one.  We would have loved to spend more time in Kadıköy.  Many Turks came to see us off! 

Galata Tower

Mistake #2 was that the afternoon is not a good time to get views of the skyline of historic Istanbul.  Aya Sofia and the Blue Mosque were backlit as the ferry sped away from the historic district.  Moreover, the ferry does not travel along the shore of the Sultanahmet peninsula. 
We did have great views of Beyoğlu.  The most impressive landmark is the Galata Tower.  Even today, this is still one of the most photogenic views of the otherwise overly modern and blah cityscape.  
Galata Tower
At nine stories, Galata Tower was the highest building in Ottoman times. But wait, that tower looks Italian?  The Romanesque tower was built in 1348 by Genoa, who were rewarded for their support of the Byzantine Empire vs. arch-rival Venice.  Genoa controlled this area until the Ottomans took over Constantinople in 1453.  Beyoğlu, which was outside of Istanbul in those days, was where embassies and foreigners lived even today.


Today was not for seeing sites even though Kadıköy is the location of the Ancient Greek city of Chalcedon.  It also became part of the Ottoman Empire 100 years before the Fall of Constantinople in 1453.  We never realized that 1453 marked the fall of the city of Constantinople; Anatolia had long been part of the Ottoman Empire.
Our Welcoming Ceremony


Once we got off the ferry (vapuru), we walked through the busy quay to the right.  There were young kids performing to make some money.  It was a different atmosphere.  It was not clear where we were going but we went with the other people across the busy intersection to Söğütlü Çeşme Cd (çeşme means fountain) then turned right onto a small lane and then left.



Yasa Caddesi

Boy Band

We probably walked southeast on Yasa Caddesi (Law Street).  This brought us to a junction where there was a large group of people listening to live music.  An all-male band were singing songs to the crowd.

Live from Kadıköy!

Güneşli Bahçe Sokak 

Street Music
In theory, we were heading for Ciya Sofrasi Restaurant. Make sure you bypass the Ciya Sofrasi Express (kebab) place on the right and go to the more popular and earlier place on the left.

In reality, we were immersed in the everyday life of a big city.  We went SE one more block to Güneşli Bahçe Sokak.   
Street Market
The sokak (street) was little more than a pedestrian only lane.  Güneşli Bahçe is an appropriate name since it means sunny garden. 

Suddenly we were in a dense street food market.  This is the place to get things. The colourful market had mounds of colourful spices, fresh fish and vibrant fruits and vegetables. 
Fish neatly laid out

So what's for supper?  At the fishmonger, you can buy levrek (perch) for 18 TL/kg, uskumru (mackerel) for 8 TL/kg, or Karadeniz somon (Black Sea salmon) for 14 TL/kg. 

Street Snacks
At the fruit stalls, you can purchase yeşil armut (green pears), dut (mulberry), and portakal (oranges) for 3.50 TL/kg.
Green Pears


Are these vine leaves for hakiki (real)? 
At other stalls, you can purchase cizik zeytin (green olives) for 19.80 TL/kg, biberli zeytin (olives stuffed with peppers) 16.80 TL/kg,  hakiki tokat yaprak (genuine tokat leaf) for 11.00 TL/kg, and many other fruits and vegetables. 
What is a tokat leaf anyways, anybody know?  It's seems much bigger than the stuffed vine leaves at home. 

Next Post: Istanbul

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