Away from the Golden Horn – what lies outside Istanbul’s centre (2/2).

Across the Bosphorus: Kuzguncuk.
Istanbul, it can be argued, is a world of its own, and as in every self-respecting world you need a guide. Not a handbook, but someone who can direct you, offering insight and advice. Dante had Virgil, Arthur Dent had Ford Prefect (and I can feel purists cringe at these two examples being put in the same sentence).
My guide to the vast world of Istanbul is Feride Yalav, who happens to write in several publications as well as in her blog Istanbul22. I owe her the discovery of Fener and Balat, or the courage to use the vapur as a mean of passing the time and, obviously,  Beşiktaş’ markets. So, when she mentioned Kuzguncuk as her favourite place, I had to pay it a visit. I did some research, learning some quirky facts, and left Örtaköy in search for a vapur, already foretasting setting down to write this blog, finding the hole in the pages that I like so much to sink in.
Then the Istiklal Caddesi bombing happened, and it threw my plans out of the window. I’ve already written on the topic before and I won’t indulge on it anymore but suffice to say that the events of that day changed my mood, and I found myself drifting along in a rather contemplative spirit, reminiscing about everything and anything. Almost automatically I started taking photos, replacing words with pictures and – who knows – maybe this could be a better deal.
The comings and goings of boats across the strait continued unaffected, carrying humans and feathered alike from one shore to another.
Kuzguncuk, a tiny enclave sandwiched between hills, revealed itself as a small congregation of wooden houses, quiet roads and many a trace of those minorities that found here, within sight of the Sublime Porte, safe haven.
Should a statistic say that, in Istanbul, one is never farther than six feet from a cat, I wouldn’t be surprised.
And that’s pretty much about it. To the next time, Istanbul.
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10 Responses to Away from the Golden Horn – what lies outside Istanbul’s centre (2/2).

  1. fyalav says:

    Thank you so much for the mention, much appreciated! I hope you enjoyed exploring Kuzguncuk, it’s a bit of a journey but truly a small haven.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. starrywazzoh says:

    Truly a city with character. I love it and never tire of visiting. I visited 2 weeks after you (I think that’s what we calculated) and also visited Ankara, where I worked for a few years in the 90s. Both cities suffered atrocities from fellow Muslims (apparently extremist Kurds) and my friends are of course shocked and disappointed that this is happening, killing innocent men, women and kids. Equally concerning for my friends is increasingly authoritarian governance and uncertainties over the future of their secular lives. Time will tell, but Turkey remains a pleasure to visit and spend time with friends. I also enjoyed a nostalgic visit to the Black Sea coast east of Trabzon. What a wonderful walk down memory lane, spending time with old friends.

    Liked by 1 person

    • awtytravels says:

      Thanks for your comment, isn’t it nice to come back to where you have had good times? I am optimist about Turkey. Sure, they have issues, but they’re coping a lot better than us Europeans, and as for Mr Erdogan going Sultan-like… well, is it any change from the past when insulting the army would’ve landed you in jail? He can’t be in power forever, methinks.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. anyfidelity says:

    Another well written post with stirring images that make me nostalgic of my one visit to Istanbul a few years back–and make me wish for another one. Some day, I hope.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. lexklein says:

    I love your little forays off the beaten path, especially in a city like Istanbul where, for a tourist like me, just seeing the “main” part of the city took so much time. How wonderful to have the opportunity and initiative to visit all the small pockets as well (and to share them with us!).

    Liked by 1 person

    • awtytravels says:

      Well, thanks! 🙂 I think it’s something hard-wired in my psyche. I was born in a small town, in a corner of Italy that’s not so popular with tourists, so I almost unconsciously started liking those places that don’t get a lot of attention. Sometimes, when I’m in a place for only a day, I prefer to go and see a semi-central borough rather than do the tour of the ‘crown jewels’, if you see what I mean!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Angelina Hue says:

    I stayed a few days in Kuzguncuk during my last trip to Istanbul and I love the neighbourhood. It’s calm, pretty, steps from the Bosphorus – a laid-back village or oasis compared to the centre of Istanbul. If you return to the area, here are some recommendations that I would suggest:

    Liked by 1 person

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