Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Have you ever hopped on some kind of public transportation – not knowing where it would go?

During our travels in Turkey, that’s happened to us several times. It’s just inevitable when you are trying to figure out how things work in a foreign place.

Well, while staying in Emirgan lately, we’ve observed these water taxis picking up and dropping off people along the Bosphorus in Istanbul. These small boats seem to run about every 10 to 15 minutes, but we didn’t know where they landed on the Asian side.

The other Sunday, my husband posed the question, “Let’s just hop on one of those boats and see where it goes. Wanna go?”

Of course, we hopped on the boat and ended up visiting the sleepy, waterside village of Kanlıca. We did this the next two weekends in a row via these water taxis. The cost is 5 tl per person, which is a lot more than the regular ferry boats (2 tl). However, the weekend ferry boat schedule to small destinations such as Kanlıca is quite limited.
This past weekend, we took my cousin Greg from Nebraska to visit Kanlıca via the water taxi too. Just sit back and enjoy the short ride across the Bosphorus.
We had no idea what to do in Kanlıca so we walked north along the shoreline where we passed dozens of fishermen and swimmers. Honestly, the walk wasn’t that scenic, but it was relaxing.
Before stopping near the Çubuklu Iskelsi (about 2 km.), I got yelled at by an armed Turkish  jandarma because apparently I had stepped onto a military pier. I never saw the sign indicating no photos and no trespassing. Oops!
Don't step on this pier like I did!
I waved, shouted “pardon” and hoped I would be forgiven for my yabancı moment.

We hopped on a bus back to Kanlıca and decided to walk around the small crafts market. I bought a ladybug nazarlık bracelet and a glass nar paperweight. Two Turkish women also were knitting and selling these adorable baby outfits and socks.
Most of these small gifts cost only 5-15 tl.
I noticed the nearby waterside cafes and suddenly remembered that Kanlıca is known for its creamy and tart yogurt! Visiting Kanlıca is listed in the Top7 Things to Do and Places to Visit on the Asian Side by The Guide Istanbul.

We grabbed an open table at the busy café and ordered 2 yogurts with powdered sugar. You also can order the yogurt with jam or honey.

For some reason, I had expected a more frozen-like or whipped yogurt (don’t ask why!), but nope, it was a traditional thick, creamy Turkish yogurt. Our order came with a large bowl of powdered sugar so you could sprinkle in as much sweetness as you wanted. The vast quantity of powdered sugar here reminded us of eating beignets in New Orleans as we did for our wedding weekend in 2010.
We also bought a large tub of yogurt to take home, which went well with fresh peaches for breakfast.
After our yogurt snack, we played with several street cats and their kittens and briefly walked around Kanlıca.
Just off the main square area, we found an antique store and several old wooden Ottoman houses. Then, it was time to catch the 4:50 p.m. ferry back to Emirgan.
If you want to escape the hustle and bustle of Istanbul for a few hours, head to this charming village. Simply getting to Kanlıca is half the fun!

How to get Kanlıca:
The water taxis depart every 10-15 minutes near the Emirgan Iskelesi on the European side.

Or check the regular ferry boat schedule here by departure location and destination.

A third option is to take bus No. 15 from Üsküdar to Kanlıca; or by a Beykoz-bound dolmuş from Üsküdar.
If you want a simple, but delicious Turkish meal by the seaside, try Yakamoz, pictured in the yellow building, here in Kanlıca.
Boats docked near the Kanlıca Iskelesi. Don't worry, the water taxis are motor boats.

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BacktoBodrum said...

To my shame, I have never been to Kanlica or read much about it. Thanks for the idea.

jaz@octoberfarm said...

what a cool place. i would love visiting there but would have to fins some way other than a boat. i get sea sick just looking at a boat!

Joy said...

@BacktoBodrum, you are welcome! Definitely a cute area to check out when you are in Istanbul someday.

@Joyce, hmmm...perhaps by a dolmus or a bus then to get there? ;-)

Alan said...

it's great to have these little havens to escape the lunacy of the big city for a while before it's 'Once more unto the breech, dear friends!'.

The Ugly Troof said...

how did you rent a water taxi of the sort you were in. that is the kind i'm looking for. the ones i've seen look like modern boats with no outside area. i'd much appreciate some info. thanks!

Joy said...

@the Ugly Troof, As I explained in the post, the water taxis we've used are either from Emirgan to Kanlica or from Kanlica to Emirgan. These boats are right at the docks.

You can also get some from Kurucesme to either go to Galatasaray Adasi or to some of the restaurants on the Asian side.

If you want to hire a private water taxi, I'm afraid I don't know how to do that.