Our last stop in Europe was Istanbul. Turkey is the ancestral home of S-boy and it was fantastic to finally go there. We thought we would not be doing any bike riding in Turkey and especially not anywhere close to Istanbul which is very much a city of cars and buses. There is no right of way for pedestrians here and you really have to be careful on the streets here. The bus rides are thrilling or scary depending how you look at them. It is such a mix of a city where East meets West and is quite conflicted in how it presents itself. The food is amazing, the people are so friendly (especially if you try to talk Turkish) and it is very energetic and exhausting. We visited all the sights of Sultanahmet, which you can see below and managed to capture a brave solitary cyclist amid all the bustle...
The Ferry system of Istanbul is fantastic and a cool escape from the frenzy of the streets.
We did a ferry trip to Buyuk Ada (Big Island) which is only a half-hour from Istanbul. There are no cars allowed on the island, which preserves the old village that still exists there. Horse and carriage are the main transport on the island or bicycles. So of course we rented some. I struggled on my bike as it was too short for me, but we still had fun riding to different 'beaches'. Coming from our big island, Australia. we enjoyed the novelty of paying to go to the beach and had fun riding to several before we made our choice.
It was fun to ride alongside horses and carriages carrying tourists about.
Horses and bicycles are used by locals too.
View from my bike..
Shortest bike ever - even with the seat up!
S-boy on his ride...
We had a beautiful lunch of fresh fish and bread and wine. Then a bit tired from our morning of bike riding and beach-going we did a carriage ride of the entire island... Just beautiful!
I liked taking bike pics from the carriage!
Especially up hills...
We had such a great day and were sad to leave..
A view of the island from the ferry.
Back in Istanbul the only other place you could ride a bike safely was along stretches of cycleways which were only found along some waterfront areas of the Bosphorus. These were mostly used for recreation, not for commuting anywhere.