Published: June 23rd 2012June 23rd 2012
For today we planned something completely different. We wanted to see the Asian part of Istanbul and we had read in our guidebook about a neighbourhood of Istanbul called Kadiköy on the other side of the Bosphorus with a nice little pedestrian-only city centre. So instead of mosques, sites and museums we planned for sitting at cafés drinking apple tea and reading books all day.
Directly after breakfast we therefore walked down to the harbour and found a ferry that for the ridiculous price of 2TL (less than 1 €) not only took us to Kadiköy but at the same time provided a beautyful half hour cruise on the Bosphorus. Once we came to Kadiköy we quickly started to implement our plan, but had to give up after less than one hour. Even though the café was very nice, the apple tea was good and the books (for me Orhan Pamuk's Istanbul) were interesting the chairs were not very comfortable to sit in for a longer time, so we decided to move on an take a look at the place we had arrived to.
The center of Kadiköy consisted of maybe 5x5 cityblocks filled with cafés, restaurants and all
sorts of shops. It was of course possible to buy more "touristy" things like souvenirs and clothes, but it also worked as the local market with meat, fish and vegetables, and even had shops for renovation stuff and kitchen machines. After walking around for some time gawking at things (much nicer to do here than in Istanbul because people didn't assume you were actually interested in buying a tuna or a refridgerator so we were quite much left in peace by the locals) we went back to the the café with the softest looking chairs and sat there reading our books and drinking coke until we got hungry.
We went to a restaurant our guidebook had recommended and were definitely not disappointed. The humus was the best either of us had ever eaten, and also the rest of the food was excellent, and the place was not even very expensive. So if you are going to Kadiköy, look for the Ciya restaurant! After the lunch we tried out another thing the guidebook recommended in Kadiköy, the rocks at the beach together with some beer from the supermarket nearby. It proved to be a well-working concept and we enjoyed the
sea, the sun and the beer for a few hours.
To drive away the drowsiness we got from all the fresh sea air we resorted to multinational corporations in the form of Starbucks. After some time enjoying the airconditioning and the grande coffee we felt ready for new challenges and walked the 50 meter back to the restaurant where we had had lunch and took a new round of humus, this time accompanied with some pistache kebab. After this we felt more than ready, so we took the ferry back to Europe, a trip made even more spectacular by the sun setting over Istabbuls mosques!