Had a fabulous 11 days in Istanbul – Not that I did much sightseeing; more catching up and chilling really. We did have a day on Kinarli though. That’s the nearest Island to the mainland. The name translates into Henna Island; named because of the colour of its earth due to all the iron and copper that has been mined there.
If your’e ever in Istanbul it’s well worth a trip, but perhaps not at the weekend – too busy! We set off from Besiktas on a cloudy Friday and walked for ten minutes to Kabatas (pronounced Kabatash) where we caught the little hopper (deniz otobus) just as the rain came down. Hmmmmmmmm
Some twenty minutes later we were sitting drinking tea in Yassos, a little cafe by the harbour, under bright sunshine. Our mission today is to tan, but instead of catching the little white boat that bumps you around the coast to the beach bar for free, we decide to walk. Leaving the main drag, we turn into a side street on the left, pass the bike hire, chemist, bakers and more cafes, then hook a right into a pretty tree lined street on a gradient. It’s not a big hill and we hardly notice it as we take a leisurely stroll along while chatting and discussing the different architecture and informality of the houses.
Getting to the little beach, involves lots of uneven concrete steps (I need to tell you this just in-case you go and end up cursing me!) – At the bottom in the cafe area, a short grey haired women in a bright purple dress, puts her hands in the air and starts dancing toward us, clicking her fingers along to the music as she goes. The beaming smile never leaves her face. She envelopes Magi and Helen in her meaty arms, saying her hellos like an old friend, which of course she is. I get a kiss on each cheek in welcome – Hey I’m new here!
We take up prime position sun loungers and arrange ourselves for the task ahead….Tanning!. Our view is to the mainland with its erratic skyline currently under a turbulent fusion of black and charcoal cloud. It reminds me of a violent cartoon with its tongues of white lightening, too perfect to be real. Magnificent to look at, but we are so very glad we escaped it!
The day is spent flat out under partial cloud which still leaves strap lines and red bits! During the day, the boys make sure we have all we need, and when hunger strikes we wander over to the bamboo roofed cafe for Kofte, with an extra plate of chips.
With good grace, Kinarli keeps it visitors dry for the whole day, and when the little boat arrives to take everyone back to the harbour, only Helen gets on it. Magi and I literally take the high road.
Some useful info:
The cost for a day on the beach is 15tl (25 at weekends) – I think in total with refreshments and lunch it cost us around 40tl each.
For the ferry, and for buses, you need to pick up an IstanbulKart which you can get from the little news kiosks that are dotted around the city, and this you can top up during your stay (machines in the ferry port or little man in the kiosk) – I managed to lose mine, and it had 25tl on it…..think that had something to do with Brian, but that’s another story…….