One of the most fascinating things about Istanbul is the fact that it is situated on two continents. Except for the traffic, the locals take it for granted that they travel between Europe and Asia on a regular basis, but for someone coming into Istanbul as a tourist, the trip across one of the two bridges or taking a ferry to cross the Bosphorus is an experience that should not be missed. There are two bridges referred to by the locals as the Birinci Kopru (the first bridge) and Ikinci Kopru (the second bridge). Birinci Kopru is the Bogazici Koprusu and Ikinci Kopru is actually named Fatih Sultan Mehmet Koprusu. It must have become obvious by now that the word Kopru means bridge in Turkish.
On the Asian side of Istanbul the district of Kadikoy, along the Marmara Sea is more of a residential area with one of the most famous attractions being Bagdat Caddesi (Cadde for the locals), a prestigious shopping strip full of Turkish and International designer stores and many cafes and restaurants. Bagdat Caddesi and Sahil Yolu ( Shore Way) run parallel to each other starting in Fenerbahce and going all the way to Bostanci. The Cadde is full of places to sit and people watch but what I really enjoyed was walking along the neighborhoods. The area originally developed as summer residences still retains part of its suburban charm with apartments surrounded with little gardens and quiet dead-end streets making it understandable why people might choose to live here in spite of the traffic they have to endure to get to the European side.
At the end of our little trip we ended up in Bostanci right next to the Ferry Terminal. It is possible to take the Deniz Otobusu (Seabus) from Kabatas to Bostanci, the 25 minute ride costs 5.20 TL full fare and 3.45 student fare. The schedule runs regularly evry 20 minutes during rush hour and hourly during the middle of the day. (Note: there is a big lap betwen 12.00 and 17.00)
The perfect ending to a perfect day – we stopped by a little makeshift cafe right next to the ferry terminal for the Princes Islands and had some freshly grilled Mackerel. Amazing!