Buyuakada Island off the coast of Istanbul is the place I mentioned about a month ago to my regular blog readers where only horses and carriages are allowed as well as bicycles. The small island is a getaway for residents of the large city of Istanbul. Everyone including ourselves gets there by Ferry Boat which takes about 2 hours with 5 or 6 stops on other islands
The little archipeligo of islands are absolutely breathtaking with scenes out of storybooks !! The electric blue water juxtaposed against ane even bluer sky…..dotted with islands of emerald green and those terracotta rooftops made for some of my favorite photography opportunities so far. These are just a FEW of the photos we took and video as well yesterday to give you a “flavor” of the trip.
We were gone from 10:00 AM till after sunset. It was such a relaxing day to spend after so much rushing around for the past 2 weeks. The timing was good as Steve seems to be coming down with that 24 hour bug I had flying from MPLS to Amsterdam. Hopefully when he wakes up today he will feel a little better. It’s just a sinus thing but annoying to say the least
Riding on the Ferry
Just one little Island of many. It reminds me of some photos I’ve seen of Greece
I knew the moment we arrived this was my kind of place. This umbrella was over the pay toilet area…You buy tokens to use toilets in Turkey
And then the first of MANY MANY MANY MANY kitties appeared. The Turks adore their kitties and it is becoming very apparent that they most likely keep them healthy and happy as pets as well as rodent control. Not a single mouse or rat was to be seen anywhere in the main city or on this island
Part of the boat trip above
The ferry passengers were feeding the gulls and I got 100s of photos from the deck. I cant’ wait to go through all of them. Some doing the most amazing acrobatics to catch the food. The entire boat was exclaiming OPA!! each time a piece of bread was caught. It was truly an amazing experience
We are just getting ready to hop on our carriage. Each couple or family gets their own and can get a short town tour or the entire island….we chose the whole island for the price of about 30.00 USD for both of us. It was a steal for the views we got
There were hundreds of carriages waiting for all the new Ferry arrivals but once everyone had thier ride arranged, the carriages dissapated onto the streets and alleyways and we rarely encountered another one on our 2 hour ride into the hilltops. Above is a bad photo but you can see horses grazing in unfenced pastures at the top of the island
And these are the views that would have been worth far more than 30.00 to get a photo of!! Most people took the short route through town. We are SO glad we chose this route and we were the only ones up on the overlook
Steve was on video camera duty…you can see a bit of him to the right
It just doesn’t get any better than this!!!
Here the carriage took us by the rows and rows of stables where the horses are kept at night. Our brace of horses looked excited to see the stables and the young drivers had to slow them down on the descent to prevent a runaway carriage. The trail we were on up there was very narrow and no fences with a sheer drop down into the ocean. It was a bit hairy a couple of times but the drivers knew what they were doing and the horses very healthy and strong
Someone stole the video camera from Steve!
A little graffiti in one of the most unexpected places! There were a few beautiful old homes up on the hilltop too
Check out this great mosaic on a street corner….we are almost back down the hill now
Our drivers were about 16 or 17 and loved to pass the slow old timers. OMG it was no different than teens in the US kicking up their heels and drag racing cars. They thought they might scare us a bit but we were laughing and going Woo Hoooooooooooo. They loved it and turned their radio on to some great Turkish music after that. It really added to the atmosphere!
When the ride was done we gave the boys a tip and they were so surprised. They looked at each other….then at me and Steve. We have them the “thumbs up” and they were genuinely blown away that we would give them extra money. We are finding Turkey is quite different from Egypt in that respect. Egypt tipping is expected…..here they have actually refused to take a tip like we have encountered in Japan
Here is one of the handsome senior drivers. The carriage business is a family one and the carriages themselves are only handmade for the residents on this island.
We are now pretty hungry and decide it’s time to head for the waterfront cafes for a bite to eat…it’ is now where we start to find out just how many cats this island can hold!
What a pretty thing. Every part of the island had obvious feline family units because of the similar markings and features
Ali Baba was on our boat handing out info about his establishment so we decided….what the heck….the place looked very nice and was right on the water
The food was outsanding…we had octopus ceviche and hot peppers stuffed with a feta cheese for a mezza (appetizer), then split a mixed meat Kebap for our lunch with wine for me and beer for steve. Not a cheap meal but not overly expensive for such well prepared food with entertainment!! The cats were under every chair!!
And no wonder the cats liked it here….this is an example of what the seafood was like. Fresh caught that day
We noticed a number of little shops on the island carried this cat food..What a cute label
The fish cutting table was a popular hangout for the feral cats
This ivy covered home was amazing….the Mediterranean climate is perfect for plants. 78 degrees again this day and not a cloud in the sky
I love this street kitty looking on down the road
It doesn’t get any more “Turkish”than this
These kitties were watching the residents inside eating their dinner
Here is an example of a blue cobalt fused glass “Turkish Evil Eye” which the residents hang over their doorways for protection. I purchased a number of these good luck amulets which will be a part of the drawing after our trip is over
Loved the colors and patterns here
This kitty had beautiful eyes!
Bouganvilla covered most of the homes and stores. What a beautiful sight. I can’t even get one to winter over n a pot
Extremely fluffy paws on this beauty. One of the few longer haired cats we saw
There were about 5 of these similar dogs on the island that I got photos of. Look at the eyes….they were pale greenish yellow. Now the thing that struck me as even odder is that the dogs were all laying in front of shops, in the alleys usually and they didn’t react a single bit to people stepping over them and walking around them. I told Steve at the time….they must be part Chow the way they act.
Well now that I have looked at my photos more closely I am convinced these dogs were all blind. I’m guessing a genetic issue since all the dogs were like clones. They were well cared for and each lying next to a shop or home….but it would explain the oblivious attitude. Deafness is another thought . Sometimes eye color can relate to deafness.
A little old man was carting around this cute dog
These fish were fresh they were still flopping in the fishermans cart
I want one of these breads so bad!!!!!!
Does anyone remember the book called “The Silent Meow”? This reminds me of that expression
It was getting late in the day and we decided to sit at waterside at an open air coffee shop and wait for the Ferry to arrive for our 2 hour journey home at sunset. Here is what that Turkish Tea looks like in the traditional cup it is served in. This tea is extremely strong, served with 2 sugar cubes on the side, and is meant to be served piping hot. You hold the cup by the very top rim ….a finger on teh thick bottom to prevent burning your fingers.
As we were enjoying our tea, this teenage kitten comes up to the neighboring table and starts to rub up against the chair of one of the local patrons…a woman in about her 70s. Eventually the kitty was on the empty chair next to her …pawing at the lady’s handbag.
In many countries when we see this , usually the proprieter of the establishment shoos the cat away or the patron gets annoyed…NO not in Turkey!!!! This lady reached over calmly , opened her bag and pulled out a handfull of kitty kibble and sprinkled it on the ground. There was nothing sweeter than seeing the residents taking such wonderful care of these cats. But like Diana and others have commented…..it’s a shame there couldn’t be a spay/neuter program in place
Waiting their turn for the kitten to finsh eating
The sunset on our journey back
So Diana…from the comments going back and forth about the kitties…you would have a choice of many!! lol! We are actually going back to that cobblestone alleyway today to see if brown tabby kitty is still there. I want to take a lot more photos and pick up some unbelievable Turkish silver jewelry I found on that street!!! You guys will freak out at these designs!!
The Grand Bazarre is today too so we wil get there by subway. We tried that last night and they have a wonderuflul transit system here.
I’ve been thoroughly enjoying all of your comments and wish I had more time to answer each one. The blog posts take me about 2-3 hours to do and by the time I”m finished we are usually rushing to get in a bite to eat or leave for a new adventure!!! Keep the comments coming my friends!!!! I’m so tickled you all are enjoying our travels….I can “hear” it in your comments and that alone makes me want to post all the more. The sharing is as much fun as the journey itself
ALSO CHECK OUT THE NEW AUDIO BOO….SOUNDS FROM THE FERRY TRIP