[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.
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:
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!
Sh*t! If I am going downhill now, it means my return would be an uphill climb. Craaaappppp!!!
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.
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!!!!!
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.
And I’m off to my next destination before calling it a day…