My busy life in Istanbul

Far from taking things easy in my dotage, my life has become a whirl of activity lately, if this last week is anything to go by! On Monday, I was to have joined an IWI (International Women of Istanbul) group going to Büyükada, one of the Princes' Islands, especially to see their new museum. Unfortunately, this trip was cancelled due to lack of interest, so I was able to play tennis instead. I mentioned my aborted trip to Angela, who lives on the island, and she suggested that I visit anyway, and meet her for lunch, on Wednesday.

On Tuesday we had our twice monthly IWI coffee morning, followed by lunch, where Judith and Siobhan expressed their interest in my planned trip, and Angela invited them along too. On the way home from lunch, I met my neighbour, Yasemin, who was about to walk along the sea front, so I quickly changed into sports mode and joined her. We walked for half an hour, then exercised in one of the exercise parks there, before walking the return half-hour home.

These long steps lead up to the road in front of the Splendid Hotel, where our phaeton was waiting. 

On Wednesday, Judith, Siobhan and I took the ferry to Büyükada and met Angela at the docks. It was interesting being with someone who had local knowledge. Angela led us to some steps of which I was unaware, despite several visits to this small island. At the top of the steps a phaeton was waiting, ready to take us to the museum. Extraordinarily, the museum is quite far from the ferry port, so a phaeton is essential. It is not surprising that they have very few visitors to the museum, out of the thousands that regularly visit the island.

One of the very early phaetons outside the museum.

The museum is quite small and still in the developmental stage, but was interesting nevertheless. It tells of the history of the islands and how they got their name, together with lists of the flora and fauna found on them, and some ancient artifacts that have been discovered. We only had half-an-hour to peruse the exhibits, as the phaeton driver wouldn't wait any longer. We had to agree to his terms as there was no other way back!

I was really taken by this magnificent staircase in Angela's home. The paintings on the walls are by Angela herself.

The phaeton dropped us off at Angela's beautiful house, where we sipped pre-lunch spritzers on her verandah, while watching her gardener, with some trepidation, as he pruned the top-most branches of a tree. We were rather concerned when we heard an almighty crash as he fell out of the tree, but were reassured when he extricated himself and waved to show he was all right. Angela then treated us to a wonderful lunch, before we set off for the ferry to return to the mainland.

Angela's gardener in the top of the tree, before he fell out!

Thursday was another tennis morning, followed by a trip to the street market in Erenköy with Yasemin. Tired after tennis, I insisted we took a taxi there, although we did walk back all the way home. As it is quite far, next time I am also taking a taxi back again! While we were at the market, I told Yasemin about my trip to Büyükada, and she also wanted to go, so we arranged to visit the island the next day, Friday.

Yasemin phoned her cousin to wish him a happy birthday, 
on our way to the island.

That is how I found myself on the island again on Friday. I decided not to tell Angela as I decided that she had probably had enough of me by then, as she had seen me on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday already! Yasemin and I had a lovely day. After visiting the museum, we walked around the town, had lunch in one of the many restaurants, and shopped.

We saw this man mending horses' bridles.

I had a great week, but today is Saturday and I have taken the day off, especially as next week is beginning to look just as hectic! Oh well, we only live once, so we had better make the most of it. Although I am secretly hoping we get more than one shot at life, it's such fun once you get the hang of it!!!

We saw this phaeton decorated for a wedding...

...and bicycles for hire.


  1. Glad to see that you are living life to the full! Seems you are having a wonderful time. Speak to you soon xx

  2. Ha ha, dotage indeed. And I'm pretty sure there is another equally exciting existence awaiting you in 30 or so years time!


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