We’ve been living in Istanbul now for a whooping two and a half weeks! It’s been a whirlwind of opening bank accounts, buying phones, stocking our kitchen with food, learning enough language to get around, untangling the transportation system, balancing our budget in three different currencies, catching up with old and new friends, getting my other blog off the ground, getting Scott’s business rolling, helping Ellie adjust with the changes, getting used to our temporary apartment, searching for a new apartment, pricing appliances and furniture for the move, keeping up with daily chores, keeping up with Ottoman Turkish document translation and teaching lots and lots of English online! Whew! Are you tired from reading that? As you can imagine, we were in need of a break! Since summer is coming to a close we thought we’d take advantage of seeing the beautiful Buyuk Ada (Big Island) of the Princess Islands just a short 30 minute boat ride from the boat dock nearest to our apartment. It was an absolutely wonderful trip, and I highly recommend it to anyone visiting Istanbul!
The morning promised perfect weather- cloudy with temps in the 70s. It was sunnier and warmer in the afternoon, but not too hot to be uncomfortable.
On the boat and excited for a day of fun.
Scott was very excited to feed samit (a common bread) to the seagulls. We didn’t have much luck with seagulls on the way there, but wait until I tell you about the way back (at the end of this post).
I liked this picture with the flag in the background blowing in the wind.
We walked along the water’s edge and scoped out some of the scenery. Since we arrived in the morning there were hardly any other people. It was picturesque to say the least.
Before setting off on our biking adventure we decided to let Ellie finish her snooze in the carrier. So, we got a little coffee at Starbucks. The view was great!
She’s bright eyed after her nap and ready for an adventure!
We rented bikes and took the long way around the island- not for the faint of muscle! There were many hills, up and down, but it was our preferred choice of transportation. No motorized vehicles are allowed, but you can rent a carriage drawn by horses if you prefer. Ellie loved the bike ride.
Scott planned and packed a great picnic for us. He even found some Hungarian salami!
Ellie happily munched on a cucumber.
After riding for several miles we enjoyed a steep hike up to a monastery at the top of the island. We met some Koreans who were dazzled by Ellie. No surprise there. Since I know a little Korean I said “she is pretty” in their language and they were then dazzled by me. Two for two! To get to my point, they took this picture for us.
At the end of a very fun day. Getting ready for our boat ride home.
Our day ended on an absolute high note. On the boat ride home we were followed by seagulls. Scott was armed with his bread to feed to them. They are amazing dog-seal seagulls. You throw the bread in the air off the back of the boat and they swoop in and catch it! I would absolutely choose any of these seagulls to be on my ultimate frisbee team any day. They were exceptional at intercepting! Everyone on the boat was having fun watching them dive and swoop and catch their dinner feast.
However, after the bread was gone we were in danger. They flew right over our heads. Uh oh…