Europe 2016 Day 11.2: Anatolia

[9 MARCH 2016, WEDNESDAY]

After spending a chunk of Turkish Liras (TL) for Dolmabahçe Palace, my next route would be a cheapo route.

I wanted to take a cruise across the Bosphorus Straits. I also wanted to visit the Anatolia side of Istanbul (Asia side). And I wanted to do both these things cheaply. Lucky for me, there is such a way to achieve my wish.

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Ferry
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Ferry

For your reference:

  • If you book a Bosphorus cruise tour from your home country anywhere in the world, you would most likely have to pay 80€ – 100€ for a half day cruise with a tour guide and maybe a cold lunch on board.
  • If you book a Bosphorus cruise tour from your hotel/hostel after you arrive in Istanbul, you would most likely have to pay 80 TL – 100 TL for exactly the same type of cruise as mentioned above.
  • Or… you can do what I do: take the Kabataş – Kadıköy line ferry. It is, well… just a ferry service to cross the Bosphorus Straits so the journey only takes 20 minutes, there no cold lunch on board, and there’s no tour guide to give you explanations on anything. But… the one way cost is 2.45 TL (so return trip is 4.90 TL). And the ferry drops you off at Kadıköy, one of the main ferry terminals on Anatolia Istanbul.

Also, you’ll get the same views. If you go to sea on a foggy day, you’ll get to see… nothing! Yay!

On a good and clear day though, you’ll see… these:

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Kadıköy seafront

Not many tourists would bother coming to the Anatolia side of Istanbul. After all, most of the famous historical sites and tourist attractions are located on the European side of the city. This is also precisely why I was so glad I came.

Back in the Sultanahmet area, everyone has a relative in Malaysia (or Japan, if I tell them I am Japanese). Everyone tries to be my best friend. But here in Kadıköy, nobody gives a sh*t about who you are. In terms of the city infrastructure, the buildings, even the amount of people all over the city, both Kadıköy and Taksim/Sultanahmet look more or less the same, but because there is nobody to harass you as you take your leisurely walk around town, the feel is completely different! It was more relaxing and fun to take a walk here. I love it here!

Okay, I’ll be honest. I actually came to this side of the city because I was on a mission. If you have been reading my blog since way back when, you might recall in one of my earlier blog posts (I forgot which one, darn it!), I mentioned one of the things I wanted to do in Istanbul was to find a way to get to Fenerbahçe and draw graffiti on Robin van Persie’s posters. (Fenerbahce is one of the few big football clubs in Istanbul and Robin van Persie (Arsenal traitor) plays for them now)

Well, guess what? According to Google Maps, their stadium is just a 15 minutes walk from the ferry terminal! How lucky I was!

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Cutting across the shops area, into the residential area and downhill

Sh*t! If I am going downhill now, it means my return would be an uphill climb. Craaaappppp!!!

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You know you’re almost there when you start seeing footballer statues
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Ahhh, there you are!
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Yessss!!! I made it! Şükrü Saracoğlu Stadium, home of Fenerbahçe football club!

My [Yesss!!!] quickly became [Noooo!!!]. I did my research earlier. Unlike Galatasaray, Fenerbahçe does have a stadium tour.

But I did not do my research extensively enough. Apparently, the tour is only for registered Fenerbahçe football club’s fans, and it takes at least a few days for my registration to go through so I would not be able to make it. Actually, there was going to be a Europa League (second tier European competition) football match that night so the stadium was off limits anyway.

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Man, this sucks. This sucks big time! If I could not gain entrance to the stadium, how the f**k am I supposed to find that traitor’s posters! Arghhh!!!

I did go into their official merchandise store, but I could hardly do my stuff there under the watchful eyes of the staff. And I would never NEVER pay for Fenerbahçe merchandise!

I did see a long banner of the whole first team standing hand in hand with their backsides facing me along the stadium though. But they were too high up for me to jump and reach with my hands. Basically, I could not do anything physical to it. Grrrr!!!! Argghhhhh!!!!!

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This is the best I can do. Photoshop a graffiti onto a picture of the banner. Yes, Number 11, Robin van “little boy” Puss… never mind

My mood was somewhat dampened after realizing that my mission was an epic fail 🙁 .

Time to walk back to the seafront and take the ferry back. I did not go back the same way I came. I took another ferry which serves the Kadıköy – Eminönü line. Eminönü is within walking distance from my next destination.

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My ferry and walking routes
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Topkapi Palace from afar
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Bye bye ferry!

And I’m off to my next destination before calling it a day…

20 Comments

  1. I am glad you shared the stadium’s photos here so that I have a good idea now, on the exterior architecture. You might be wondering why I always wanna see old, new and any special architectural buildings? I was supposed to study architecture but I hate most of the subjects taught.

    I always enjoyed cruises on rivers and high seas as they are so relaxing for sightseeing. Hey you walked a lot that whole trip. How many kilos did you shed off?

    • Most of the subjects in college are crap anyway, you don’t need an architecture degree to appreciate good architecture. 😉

      I walked a lot but I also ate a lot. I think I maintained my weight. 🙄

  2. Mission failed 🙁 If there was a stick or a stone lying around, you could have hurled it upwards at the backsides and maybe that would have made you feel better 🙄

    • And break the glass and make noise? If I did that I would most definitely get into trouble hahaha!

  3. among the frustration of doin a solo free & easy trip is that we really have to do ALOT of homework, but yet Murhphy Law stil rulez…that’s why I gave up Free & easy trip nowadays unless someone is willing to do it and I jst tag along…hahah! My precious holidays are meant to be enjoyed and not being end up in frustration.

    • When you feel frustrated, then is not called Free and Easy anymore, that is just plain old DIY trip. Free and Easy has to keep up with that spirit. I go, if not open, sulk for 10 seconds, move on and continue to be happy. 🙄

  4. We had an unforgettable Bosphorus cruise tour back in 1997 when we were in Turkey. This is where the East meets West, beautiful. It separates Asian Turkey from European Turkey. We even commented that how nice if we have a house or bungalow near the Bosphorus Straits

    • It is only nice on clear days. On foggy days (which happen more than half the time) you will be cursing about wasting money I think. 🙄

  5. Actually is okay one, I’ve been to many places was closed on the day =.= That was due to I didn’t do research at all, but I find it still fun to explore, hehe!

    • Yeah, most of the fun is actually in the process, just that if the place got open, then is really 锦上添花, would be perfect!

  6. I wonder how you know about all the routes, etc.. You did all the research before the trip? Or after the trip when you arrived the hotel and asked the staff there? If next time wana go tour, I’d love to have tour buddies like you, research everything and I just follow only..

    • I generally know where I want to go and how to go there. But I usually do not have enough details, like how I went to the stadium but did not know I could not enter. 🙁

  7. I’m a little relieved that you didn’t achieve your mission! Graffiti is a serious offence in some countries. Maybe your ‘epic fail’ was for ‘epic good.’ 😉

  8. I think you mentioned that more than 3 times but I can only remember two links:

    http://www.realgunner.com/2016/02/itinerary.html
    http://www.realgunner.com/2016/03/istanbul-again.html

    Maybe if you have known earlier, you could have registered as a fan if the registration is free since I don’t think you want to spend any money on this and went for the tour on a different day when there is no football match at night.

    You must be feeling like a local strolling in the non European side peacefully.

    • Hmm… if I have known, I wouldn’t bother trying to go to the stadium in the first place. But I did really enjoy walking around Kadikoy…

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