Marmara Sea, Turkey
When it comes to exploring the world, I have two main motives. Firstly I want to visit all the seven wonders of the world. Secondly I want to visit or take a dip in as many seas and oceans as possible. Our trip to Greece introduced me to the Aegean Sea (a part of Mediterranean). Our next stop Istanbul had three water bodies...The Golden Horn, the Bhosphorous strait and the Marmara Sea. We took a cruise on all the three of them. But a sea is not fully explored till I swim in it!
|A live mermaid with a stone one :D|
Istanbul has a group of islands called the Princes Islands. They are a group of nine islands strewn over the Marmara Sea. A visit to one of them would fulfill my wish of taking a dip in the sea of Marmara. It was our second day in Istanbul. We had researched for Princes Islands' Package Tours the day before but the prices were steep. But at last we found out that there was no need to buy package tours; we could arrange the trip by ourselves by taking the local ferry.
|A hearty breakfast with our host Kenan|
The morning we got up late. I mean we had plans of leaving the apartment at 6 in the morning but we woke up at half past eight! The previous 48 hours of sleeplessness and the non stop chatter with our new friends the previous night had taken the toll on our schedule. Anyways we had a hurried breakfast and then we packed our beach essentials and left!
|All set for our journey in the Marmara Sea..departure from Kabatas port|
First it was an uphill walk to the bus stop and then a tram ride to the ferry station. The ferries to the islands were quite frequent; almost every 20 minutes. We booked the one to Buyukada and waited for our ship to arrive. As mentioned before the entire port was bustling with visitors: local and tourists alike. Firstly it was a Sunday and secondly it was the last day of their very important holiday of Bairam. The festivity was palpable.
|the street bustling with tourists...|
The islands are a favourite spot for picknickers. Our ship started and I could not contain my excitement. I was going to take a dip in another sea! The journey was quite long. We saw many islands on the way, many large ships too, with th passesngers waving each other .First our boat stopped at Heybiliyada. We were supposed to deboard at Buyukada. As soon as our destination came, I was elated. I jumped off the ship.
|Our super tanned faces!! The Greek sun took a toll on our skin colour!|
|A yacht that caught my fancy..|
|Welcome to the island of Buyukada!|
The island is absolutely motor less. Only bicycles and horse driven carriages are the mode of transport. I pranced on the cobbled streets under the glaring sun and poor hubs took pictures.
The place was a haven for tourists and sea foodies. I could sea lobsters and crabs everywhere. The little restaurants were very beautiful with quaint decor and hydrangeas popping everywhere.
I was particularly fascinated with the wooden houses there. Every window had flowers hanging from them. We thought of renting a cycle but it was out of our budget! So we decided to walk: the commonest mode of transportation there. I was excited for the beach but little we knew that it would be a rocky affair instead of the expected white sand!
|Meal by the sea among the hydrangeas...|
|A horse driven carriage...the main mode of transport in the island.|
Dress: from Goa
Purse: Shopper's Stop
Accessories: Forever 21