The arrival of the weekend in Istanbul is our cue to escape the city to avoid the crowds. So we saved our trip to Princes Islands for today. Princes Islands, an archipelago off Istanbul in the Sea of Marmara, so named because this is where the princes were exiled to during the Byzantine time, and later, the royal family during the Ottoman time.
First things first, before catching the 9:45AM ferry, we needed to get money from the ATM, and top off our IstanbulKart.
The upside to starting the day early is being able to do touristy stuff when no one is around.
An easy walk downhill brought us to the Turyol, a private ferry company, terminal in Karaköy.
The boat makes stops at 3 different islands. After an hour and a half ride, we got off at the last island, Büyükada (AKA the big island).
There are no diesel or gas vehicles on the islands. Locals travel in tiny electric tricycles, bikes, and cute little electric buses.
But not before we got some food in us first.
Hoofing it has its downside – not being able to cover as much ground, and upside – being able to appreciate the details of your surroundings.
We started off track, but eventually linked up with everyone else. Along the main road we got to appreciate some of the Victorian era homes.
After an hour and a half of walking, we turned back (never made it up to the Aya Yorgi Church at the top of the hill) because someone started having stomach rumblings (another false alarm), and ended up at a cafe with a view.
On the way to the dock, we got a chance to try lokma, fried dough that tastes like zeppole.
The 3PM ferry got us back in the city by 4:30PM.
Some shots along the way…
Total for the day – $20, and a peaceful & quiet Saturday – priceless.