Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Have you ever gone from nowhere to nowhere?

Well, that’s kind of what my husband and I felt like this weekend when we took the teleferik at Maçka Park in Istanbul.

Riding the teleferik (cable car) has been on our Istanbul “bucket list,” and we finally got to cross it off after almost three years of living here. Although the 3-minute ride did offer some great views over the park, I can tell you that you aren’t really missing much if you don’t get to ride the teleferik.
What’s odd is where the teleferik is located, and the fact that it doesn’t connect to or even near another mode of public transportation. But this is hardly surprising here in Istanbul. I’ve had several moments where I thought the city planners (or lack thereof) didn’t think or plan the public transportation stops/connections very well. Burası Türkiye!
Looking out from my "pod" over Maçka Park.
If you walk down from Nişantaşı heading toward the shore road, you will run into the Maçka Park starting point of the teleferik. Using your akbil or with a 3-lira jeton, you can hop on one of the space-ship looking pods. Each pod can hold six people.

We timed our ride so it would be close to sunset and shared our pod with two couples. It was çok romantik! Actually, I can see how young children would really enjoy this short voyage.
The ride takes you about 300 meters above Maçka Park, also called Demokrasi Parkı, which is a pleasant enough park with wooden benches, jogging paths and plenty of greenery.

The ride ends (or also begins depending on you look at it) in Taksim near the Taşkışla” building of Istanbul Technical University. The Grand Hyatt Hotel also is located on the other side of the street.
A night view of the Taşkışla building of the Istanbul Technical University.
For university students rushing to class, I can see how this cable car provides a convenience to avoid walking all the way around the park – about 10 minutes or so. I wish I had this option when I lived in Nebraska, but my campus was as flat as a pancake.

Seriously, taking the teleferik is one of those only in Istanbul moments I’m glad we experienced together. And the short ride offers a unique panoramic view of this city that I love and will miss greatly!

The cable car, which opened in 1993, runs daily from 8 a.m.-7 p.m.
This is the Taksim entrance/exit of the teleferik in Istanbul.
Here you can see the pulley and brake system that helps operate the teleferik.

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Rebecca England said...

Beautiful views from the top on the observation deck!

Joy said...

@Becky, yes, still a lovely view of Istanbul! Afterwards, we even walked to the nearby Intercontinental Hotel for a sunset cocktail. Great views from there too!

jaz@octoberfarm said...

another one of those things you never have to do! we have vernaculars which bring people up and down the mountainside right in front of my house.

Joy said...

@Joyce, really? At least going up and down the mountain would be kinda fun esp. in the wintertime. :-)

Ozlem's Turkish Table said...

I have always wondered about the teleferik though never dared to go - I have thing with heights! glad you get the good view though. how I wished for a better public transportation at home! mind you, the Levent - Karakoy metro is heavenly and the tram to Sultanahmet - yavas yavas.. : )

jenna said...

this loks so fun - i definitely need to do this next time i'm up in istanbul...

Unknown said...

How much is one tour?

Joy said...

@Leutrim, the cost to ride the teleferik is the same as one Turkish jeton. At that time, it was 3 tl for one way.