Monday, March 14, 2011

This weather puts a bounce in my step and makes me happy.
The sun is shining. There’s a slight breeze outside. Temperatures have climbed to the mid-50s. Bits of color are popping up amidst the fallen leaves and brown grass.
Fuschia-colored primroses seen in the Belgrade Forest.
Yesterday, I noticed a nearby pet store was selling little bunnies and even a fuzzy, yellow duck. I squealed with delight. My husband saw that look in my eyes and told me no, but said the duck sure would be tasty in a few months! Thanks hon!

We took advantage of the beautiful weather and walked around Beşiktaş. We stopped at our favorite watering hole and enjoyed some late afternoon beers while playing a few rounds of tavla (backgammon).

Earlier in the day, we drove out to Belgrade Forest. (Apparently, everyone else had the same idea too.) Despite the number of people, the forest generally is a welcome respite from the city’s crowds and traffic. We just enjoy being outside and walking among nature for awhile.

As you are driving to the forest, one of the most impressive sites you see is the remains of Roman aqueducts built circa 1500s.  This stretch of the aqueduct system straddles a busy section of roads just outside the forest. I was trying to research what the name of this one was called, but alas I am still unsure. The aqueducts provided the growing city of Istanbul with fresh water for hundreds of years.

Remains of the ancient water system abound in the forest as well.
It looks like we definitely have some more exploring to do in this area.

The forest is still blanketed in dead leaves and varying shades of brown. However, I was happy to find colorful wildflowers in many sections of the forest. Spring should be here soon!

Toward the end of the trail, you even discover a Sağlık Çeşmesi (fountain of health) that presumably is full of clean spring water. However, we were not willing to bet how strong our stomachs were.
Although the main trail provides a well-paved path around the forest, next time I’d like to explore more off the beaten path. This means we actually need to set an alarm clock on the weekend so we can arrive before the crowds of people do. We’ll see!
I had to climb over part of a barbed-wire fence to take a photo of this
dilapidated house in the forest.

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Julia said...

We've yet to visit Belgrade forest. I've seen it mentioned before and it looks like a great place to explore. Great photos.