Day 3: Sunday, 24th Feb 2013
There are several tour operators that operate short Bosphorus cruises that can take you way up to the Bosphorus and back. However I would advice you to take a regular Ferry, operates by the government. It is not fancy but it is acceptable and it is cheap. Ticket cost is 25 TL for a return trip. The ferries to the Bosphorus leave from Eminonu.
On that particular day, we left the hotel around 09:30 (of course after breakfast!) and we took tram straight to Eminonu station and then we bought the ticket at the ferry terminal. We took the 10:35am departure.
Since we were travelling in a large group, we decided to board the ferry about half hour earlier to ensure that we get a good seat for everybody on the top deck. It was a sunny day but still freezing and everyone had their gloves on.
The journey from Eminonu to Anadolu Kavağı took about 1 1/2 hours. The scenery was amazing and it remind me of Amsterdam.
Half way through the journey we decided to go down to the middle deck as it was too cold for the kids hehehe.
We reached Anadolu Kavağı at about noon time and we were given 3 hours to roam around and have lunch and by 15:00 the ferry will be back to pick us up. The weather at Anadolu Kavaği was sunny but cold and its terminal was covered with fog…
Anadolu Kavağı is a fishing village and lunch there is all about seafood. We did try a fish sandwich there and it was amazing but it would be better if we had a green chili with us hahaha (melayu.. mana boleh tak pedas).
Besides the seafood, we also had waffle and ice cream and they were absolutely yummy. If you do not fancy seafood, there is one small shop near the mosque that sells chicken kebab… we did try the kebab too as our kids do not really fancy seafood and it was good.
Here… the prices of the souvenirs are way cheaper than the shops in Istanbul… but the trick is you have to carry them around and into the ferry. I did buy a couple of small souvenirs that were easily being carried by my troop… this is one of the advantage of having 5 kids hehehe.
There was nothing much to see here unless you willing to climb up the hill to Yoros Castle which we didn’t as we have one pregnant lady in the group (hahaha sebenarnya malas). Yoros Castle sits on a hill surrounded by steep bluffs overlooking the Bosphorous… it would be nice to see the scenery from up there but tak sanggup la nak naik…
So… by 14:45 we were already at the jetty waiting for the ferry and this time we immediately sit in the middle deck and I think everyone doze off immediately after the ferry left the jetty.
We reached Eminonu round about 16:30 and we proceed to Taksim Square and Istiklal Street. The street lays between Taksim Square till the “Tunel” area.
The street is pedestranized and only a historical tram is running from one end to another. You can find hundreds of shops, cafes and restaurants.
There were more than a dozen doner kebab places for you to choose from and my initial reaction was… ” one of these shops can definately end my search for my perfect doner kebab!”… unfortunately none meet my standard, so the search for Bebek Kebab continues…. We walked from Taksim Square right to the Tunnel Area and there were so many people on the street even though it was late Sunday night. We didn’t buy anything but did stop at one of the restaurant for dinner.
After dinner we took the one stop train back to Karaköy and from there we walked on the Galata Bridge to Eminonu.
From there we took the tram back to the hotel. It was a long day for everyone especially the little ones but it was surely a good day.