Due to my brilliance of theory I thought the Asian side was going to be, well more Asianesque. Yes, I had read and heard it was a more modern side. All that didn’t matter, I was still convinced I would see Asian-like undertones. Instead, it was just as I had read, modern, busy and trendy. It felt like I had stepped back into the US or parts of Eastern Europe. It reminded me of a mix of Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York City. I loved the combination of the remnants of old with the new. We arrived on the Eminou ferry into Kadikoy and walked up to the fresh market area. This is a must do. The bustle of the shop owners and the local shoppers setting up and bargaining with each other is such a treat.
We spent a little time on Bagdat Avenue which I was told is the Rodeo Drive of Turkey. If you are a shopper, this is the place for you. The street is busy with people, shops, cafes, and restaurants. Great people watching. If you have some down time, find a window spot in one of the cafes or restaurants and enjoy. We didn’t spend nearly enough time in and around the Asia side. I am looking forward to returning and seeing much more.
The Asian side of Istanbul is best described as sprawl or think of it almost like the burbs. One-third of Istanbul’s residents live on the Asian side, largely due to the modernization and spaces living conditions. I went there to see what a working local market was like, not one that has become a tourist trap. I found it at the end of a quick ferry ride to Kadiköy. We left from the terminal by Galata Bridge which I highly recommend because you get fabulous views of old town Istanbul; including Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque and Topkapi Palace. Upon docking, we headed towards Muvakkithane CD (street), and up into a working market. It was an outstanding experience. I enjoyed many tasty treats from vendors, and Heather got about a kilo of Turkish Delight to take home; it was heavenly. There was also very fresh fish and vegetables to be had at almost every corner. I highly recommend this walk to anyone.