Monday, June 30, 2008

Natural Symphony

On Sunday I was off to Adalar, as The Prince' Islands are known collectively.

The Prince' Islands form a small archipelago in the Sea of Marmara to the immediate southeast of Istanbul. The Islands are comprised of 9 string of islands named: Buyukada, Burgazada, Kinaliada, Sedefadasi, Yassia
da, Kasikadasi, Sivriada, Heybeliada and Tavsanadasi. They are only 2,3 to 15,5 km away from Istanbul. On a clear bright day the islands (Turkish: Ada) can be easily seen on the south horizon from just about any vantage point in the City.

In Byzantine era, Princes and other royalty were exile
d on the Islands, lending them their present name. In time, the Armenians dwelled in Kinaliada, the Greeks in Burgazada, the Jews in Buyukada and the Turks in Heybeliada. During the 19th century, the Islands became a popular resort for Istanbul's wealthy, and Victorian-era cottages and houses are still preserved on the largest of the Prince's Islands.

Today they have still a cosmopolitan population, and are frequently visited by both locals and tourists as a summer resort and entertainment places.

The peace I find out here is a strong contrast to the noise in the City, and feels really soothing for the soul in the Bosphorus straits. Especially at the weekends, they are the ideal places to experience solitude amongst nature and and the sea for day trips via ferry from Istanbul. Every tone of green and blue meet perfectly here... ohhhh j'adore!

Island blue flowered a necklace, look at what I was wearing yesterday: multi-colored hand-made beaded long necklace, knitted like a rug with lovely tiny beads, which I used to call ''Island Beauty'':) Isn't it gorgeous?!

The closest and the most popular islands are Buyukada, Burgazada, Kinaliada and Heybeliada. From the ferry you can make out the rounded dome of a Greek Orthodox Church as well as the sole minaret of a small mosque on the island:

The third largest island, Burgazada (called ''Panormos'' in the Byzantine period) has a well-developed town center with waterside restaurants, pastry shops, bike rental counters surround the ferry terminal:

We did among the streets of Burgazada, non-stop walking as you see me below:) looking at the Island's local sites:

First we walked to the Greek Orthodox
(Ayios Ioanis), the Church of St John :

As motorized vehicles (apart from limited construction and maintenance vehicles) are not allowed on most of the islands, so visitors explore the islands by foot, bicycle, in horse-drawn carriages, or by riding a donkey:

Even though the island is small enough to walk easily, numerous horse-drawn taxis ply for everyone's business. They talk about 'deeluxe';) The seats are like in Chevrolet, and the suspension like a BMW;) Besides kidding, all the luxuria is really included in a horse-drawn carriage (Turkish: Fayton) for the customer pleasure and comfort along the way, so no excuse:)

The Island is filled with streets that allow you to wander and meander around.

d flowers grow all around the island, and they are in so wonderful colors, pinks, purples, reds, thousands of varities even wrapping up the houses:

The Island is dotted with nice summer houses, graceful structures of wood and white-wash, as well as the stone houses built by the Greek families that used to live on Burgazada. Prices of mansions on the Prince' Islands increase to 3.5 million euros. Continue reading the full article here. Here are two examples from those high-priced beautiful houses:

Our next site was the Sait Faik Abasiyanik Museum. The famous Turkish noveliest, Sait Faik Abasiyanik has lived here. He was a local islander who has written lots of stories about island life. His house has been turned into a museum dedicated to his work and his retains. Quite charming! (Below) His statue placed in the garden of the museum:

The waves gently lap at the shoreline and the unnerving quiet is quickly replaced by the sound of birds singing and the clip-clop of horse hooves, I love this melody very much...

As we talked, we eventually found ourselves on high ground at the Ogretmenevi - The Teacher's House. SUPERB panorama of Istanbul from under your feet... A little black one with bright green eyes was very kind to host us, and did not leave us alone;) Many people believe that it brings good luck if you see a black cat which walks towards you. If so, I'd be the happiest as I need that kinda good luck as soon as possible:)

Mini classical concert given by twin-sisters Seren and Oya added much color to our late evening, especially some tunes loaded with Spanish soul and elegance, and from Bach as well. I loved...

It's a place for teachers to stay and get refreshments, but they have got the similar facilities for others as well. It was Ok for us to stop for a glass of Turkish tea in a little tulip-shaped glasses, that's a traditional style:) and viewing the glorious sunset...


  1. What a glorious day. And, oh my gosh! Everything is absolutely beautiful. I felt just like I was enjoying it with you.

  2. Merhaba Nihal
    You make me want to go to the beach...well, I am going to an island this Wednesday..for work unfortunately :(

    Firstly, thanks for the infor on Taj mahal, much appreciated.

    I love the necklace..looks like one from East malaysia, with the beadings.

    That is one pair of sexy slippers. I was out shopping last weekend and was trying on some slippers, thinking I wanted one that's similar to yours...nope,didnt find it here. I'll have better luck the next time I am sure!

    I want to come over to Turkey and go island hopping too one day!!! ha...we can dream cant we, of the day we meet and have tea and stroll by the beach? How wonderful will that be :)

    Lots of love and hugs always Nihal :)

  3. @ Kate: As far as Taj Mahal, I did notice quickly about an 'important' detail missing in your article, so I wanted to step in.

    The Taj Mahal is the finest example and jewel of Muslim Art that combines elements from Turkish, Persian, Indian, and Islamic architectural styles.

    Most importantly, the main dome was designed by Turkish Ismail Afandi (a.ka. Ismail Khan) of the Ottoman Empire and was considered as a premier designer of hemispheres and domes! There we all obviously see the Turkish architectural style, so proudly:)

    Sometimes I can become a spy, but I've an eye for details:) Tks for your kind understanding by the way.

    Hey did you look for the same of my blue flip-flop? So cool:) Btw, not 'made in Turquie', imported, certfied 'made in India':) I bought them here in a big mall. They are not cheap because of stones and beads over it, completely hand-made product. I assure you it's a very good craftmanship, and I do never hesitate to pay more if there is quality and long-life production guarantee.

    Good luck to find a similar pair, upon my hint, lol:)

  4. I travelled to Buyukada when I was in Istanbul 19 years ago. It was beautiful then and always will be. It is such a charming and picturesque lifestyle.

    I laughed when I saw the house number '44' displayed. Asians in Australia will not buy a house that is numbered with a '4' as it is supposedly bad luck. Not is Turkey, they flaunt the number.

  5. @ Ardent: Yeap, I'm also familiar to Japanese culture and studied it. The Japanese think that 3, 5, and 7 are lucky numbers, and that 4 and 9 are unlucky. So the number-4 sounds like the word for ''death'' in Japanese, Mandarin and Cantonese as well. It's considered so unlucky that some Japanese and Chinese hospitals don't list a 4th floor or number any rooms 4.

    For example, if "four" sounds like "death", and you have to say "Your dad is on the death floor," then I think it's not superstition leaving off 4th floor. It's politeness, no?

    Did you know Japanese Americans and Chinese are more likely to die from a heart attack or heart disease on the ''fourth of the month'', say US researchers! They think superstition-related stress evoked by the "unlucky" number four helps trigger the cardiac deaths.

    No any problem with 4 here and we love all numbers:)

    The reason for displaying the house number 44 was to show off ''tiny little exotic tulips'' decorated over that ceramic piece. Did you notice? You know tulip is indispensable flower of Turkish culture as well as official symbol for the country. So tulips greet us everywhere we go -parks, streets, gardens, squares, tea glasses and even house numbers:)

  6. a beautiful island hopping along with you!!
    love your shadow dressed up with adorable flip flops
    love the house number tile
    love the bougainville
    love the view of the see from an elegant iron gate
    love the lucky black cat
    love the tea
    love the orange colored sunset

  7. @ Marita: To brighten the day, and a comment from someone who cares to color your day...
    How wonderful you are!
    ~ LoVe & Kisses ~

  8. Once again you have taken us on a grand tour. I love the necklace.


  9. Happy blogoversary! It's mine too!

  10. @ Teena: Warm welcome and thanks for your kind message:)
    Happy blogoversary to you, but not mine yet. Still 31 days until my blogoversary, since CrossRoads was born on Aug 1, 2007.

    Anyway, the nicest is to meet you:)

  11. I would love this place for sure !!!!
    And your necklace looks fabulous !
    I love your photos as always and the one with the glass of tea reminds me some wonderful souvenir in your wonderful country

  12. las fotos son hermosas-saludos desde Argentina

  13. @ Teresa Nelly: Hola Argentina:) Satisfecho para oír de usted, gracias por su comentario:)