Saturday, October 02, 2010
I am now 23 years old.
To commemorate the occasion I visited the Pera Museum, to see their impressive collection of Orientalist art (particularly The Tortoise Trainer by Ottoman intellectual Osman Hamdi Bey) and was surprised to discover a very impressive Japanese digital art installation. I say surprised not because I didn't know about it, but because I didn't expect to be impressed (most American digital installation art I've seen I found boring and inaccessible). It was awesome. Well worth the 3 Lira.
But since the (almost) decade of weekday-birthdays I'm in the middle of is not conducive to actually celebrating my date of birth on the 30th, I waited until today to do what I really wanted to do: ride bikes around beautiful islands in the Marmara Sea where there are quaint houses, old churches, gorgeous panoramas, and no cars. I know what you're thinking, can such a wonderful place exist only 1 hour outside of the sprawling megalopolis that is Istanbul? Are there unicorns there too?
Well, in answer to your questions, yes, it does exists, and maybe, but I didn't see any.
Heybeliada was my favorite, and is actually a contender for my favorite place on earth. I would love to have a cabin here and either write poetry or run a small cafe and coffee roastery.
Büyükada was also great, and definitely had nicer bike paths, quainter cottages, and more restaurants and shops, but somehow I didn't like it as much. I guess minimalism wins again (slash the reckless cyclist in me that likes to be able to bomb hills without having to dodge horse-drawn carriages and "gez"ing tourists- Heybeliada is much emptier.)
Here are some of my favorite pictures.