My first time visiting Istanbul did not go according to my plan. Right after landing, my vallet was stolen. Therefore, the rest of my trip was not so enjoyable for me. Despite that terrible first impression the city has made on me, I have returned there for second time – and of course, I have been watching my purse consistently. In March 2015, I have participated in an architecture workshop organised by BTU Cottbus and fully funded by DAAD. We have been staying in a hotel literally next to Galata tower, so I have landed right in the middle of the largest tourist-stream in Istanbul. Our task was to draft out a proposal for the waterfront in Karakoy – and to my surprise it has been booming with locals there. Just few steps aside from Galata bridge, you would find fish market, some outdoors cafes and plenty of hardware stores and workshops. It was really lovely there. So as I have been enjoying the site visits and fighting the tourists on my way ‘home’, I have decided to see some more of the real Istanbul.
Visiting for the second time, I was no newbie in Istanbul. I have remembered my friend’s advice to purchase an Istanbulkart for the public transportation to move around faster and less expensive – it pays off right after 5 rides. However, its biggest benefit is saving you the rush and panic at the tourniquets when getting on tram, metro or ferry – I really appreciated just sweaping a card every time and not to have to look for coins! If you are a small-town-lover and you freak out in crowds easily, you should definitely get one! Plus, up to 5 people can travel with just one card. Anyway, getting around was not stressful for me anymore and I could explore the city.
Two weeks in crowded city can be overwhelming, especially if you like open space just I like do. Don’t get me wrong, I do not mind company and I definitely enjoy meeting people. However, sometimes I also appreciate to be alone for few moments and need some time out of the jam. So, I have had packed into my suitcase a pair of running shoes (they are great for normal sightseeing as well!) and I had to put them into proper use at least one morning! The scedule of workshop was quite intense and there was no time for slacking off. So, I have decided to get up early and squeeze this adventure into my program before breakfast.
Google has answeared my question where to and so I have boarded a ferry to Kadikoy at 6:10am. Getting to asian side of Istanbul, I have felt like entering a different universe. Everything there seemed to be normal – people getting their morning cofee and newspaper before getting on the bus, the stores were selling everything except postcards, and the most exciting thing was – I have spotted some other runner fellows! So, my mood has been boosting up despite the ungodly hour. Thousands of kilometers away, yet I felt like home. I have headed to south along the coastline (you can check out the GPX-file or just the screenshot). When Google said, there is a running path, I was not expected anything like that. At the beginning, I have been folowing a bike road (see pics in the gallery) or at some point I had to run on sidewalk of a street. However, after about two kilometers of what was already a nice run, I have reached the coastline park. Basically, they have skipped the first block of buildings and turned the area into a green area. There were some fitness station along or playgrounds for children, even picknick area. As I have got there on a rainy-foggy early morning, I cannot tell how crowded it gets during nice days. Nevertheless, the views were great – you could see the dense waterfront on one side and the vast open water on the other. At some point, I saw even the prince islands – or at least I assume. The cherry on the top was the running carpet. Maybe it is just me who has spent too much time running in the woods but seriously, a track carpet? I understand it is not muddy, still, I find it somehow ridiculous 🙂
All in all, I have enjoyed this morning adventure pretty much and it has definitely helped me to move pass the story with stolen vallet! So I have left Istanbul on good terms this time and am looking forward the next one.
Read also “Seeing (instead of sightseeing) Istanbul.’