Thursday, April 14, 2011

Day trip to Princess Island (Adalar) - Turkey

Beautiful houses on the island
I've heard so much about Princess Island or Adalar as known to the locals. A cruise to Adalar cost 69 Turkish Lira (45 USD), but we have decided to be a little adventurous and save money by getting on the normal ferry. It's really cheap 2.80 Lira per way but be ready to be squeezed among the crowd. The ferries are packed like sardines but for the price we're paying no one complains.

Adalar comprises 4 islands on the Marmara Sea and Buyukada is the biggest. You should start the journey early because it takes about one and a half hour to reach Buyukada. We took the tram from our hotel in Sultanahmet to Besiktas to catch the ferry. There were many people on the ferry and there was no seat. I had to stand on the deck but my conversation with a new found friend from Czech kept me entertained until the last station. Arriving at Buyukada we went separate ways and bade goodbye.

There are no cars on the island and the only transportation available are the horse carriages and bicycles...we decided to walk around the island. The island seems very popular not only among tourists but also the locals and it is really crowded. But it is pretty and walking around the car-free streets gives us a good sense of the local life. The houses and hotels on this island are beautiful but we were told, they are very expensive.

After we had enough walking around the island we then decided to get back to Istanbul and it was about time most of the visitors started to leave the island too. We paid another 2.80 Lira and soon everybody was boarding the ferry. OMG....they were filling up the ferry to the brim! It looked overloaded and we felt like sinking. I gazed around but there was no sign of life jackets and even if they do have, it won't be enough for everyone. Now, I am beginning to think if the 2.80 Lira is worth it. To make things worst, the ferry stopped by the other islands to pick up few more people. We felt such great relief as soon as the ferry docked in Besiktas again!

Jackie Chan, the famous Hong Kong actor had one of his movies shot here
Adalar Ferry station
Horse carriages waiting for the passengers
People getting off the ferry at Buyukada station
On the bank of Adalar
The main transportation in Adalar
Huge crowd
View of Hydarpassa Terminal from Marmara sea


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