Can you travel from Europe to Asia in 10 minutes? Yes you can, in Istanbul that is.
As everybody knows, Istanbul is a city of two continents - Europe and Asia. If you look at the map, smack in the middle of the city is Bosphorus Strait. To the left of the strait is Europe, to the right of it is Asia.
We started Day 2 with one big mission: To cross from Europe to Asia and back like a local. So we took the tram to Eminönü to catch a ferry to Üsküdar, a town at the Asian side. The ferry trip required 1 token of TRL 1.75 (RM 3.50) but it looked different than the tram/metro token. The ferry token was metal gold, the tram/metro token was plastic red.
The cross-continental ferry.
Lovely view of the European side (Thrace) with Galata Tower standing tall.
Arrived at the Asian side (Anatolia). That was Mihrimah Sultan Mosque in the background.
There was an election going on, probably.
Reminded me of Jalan Masjid India.
A bazaar where you can get local products.
There were many mosques in the area, within walking distance between each other. We decided to visit just one of them - Yeni Valide Mosque - as it looked very classical and unique.
Wudhu’ area with a minaret in the background.
A water container decorated with calligraphies.
Beautiful mihrab with a classic green chandelier.
Electronic board displaying prayer times.
Two men reciting Quran.
Arches and pillars along the outer corridor.
The mosque was home to plenty of cats...
...as well as the deceased.
We then walked up the street aimlessly, simply enjoying the surroundings and blending in with the locals. Stopped by Doğancilar Park which was filled with parents taking their kids out on Sunday morning. An elderly gentleman came to chat with us. Despite his minimal English, we managed to understand that he had been to Malaysia before and visited the twin towers together with the adjoining bridge. Nice.
Being on holiday doesn’t mean that you can’t exercise!
Walked around a nice and quiet residential area towards the seaside.
We sat down on the rocks facing the waters to catch some breaths and enjoy the view. Suddenly a man came to us and asked what language we speak. We said English. He handed to us a small book.
“Belief and Man” by Badiuzzaman Said Nursi. The man who gave us the book was the one in white jacket.
I gave the book a quick flip. Pretty interesting piece, I would say. However I wasn’t sure if the man was only lending the book to us or he was selling it (it wasn’t exactly a brand new copy to begin with). So I thought we should give him TRL 5 and see if he would take it. He said no. He also asked us to keep the book and gave us another one called “Nature: Cause or Effect?” by the same author. Bless him.
Kız Kulesi (a.k.a. Maiden’s Tower) in the middle of the strait.
Some people swam, obviously oblivious to the big ships crossing paths...
Some people hanged on to their rods in hope for a fish or two...
Some people were lucky enough to catch some and proceeded with barbecue...
An election van. The cute little girl was handing out flyers.
So many pretty flowers!
After enjoying half of the day in Asia, we headed back to the ferry terminal...
...and crossed Bosphorus Strait back to Europe.
Good bye Anatolia. Hello again Thrace!
To be continued...