Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Buyukada, Turkey

Our next two days in Turkey we spent on the island of Buyukada, largest of a group of nine islands in the Sea of Marmara, 90 minutes ferry ride from the city centre. There are no motor vehicles allowed, so transportation is by bicycle and horse-drawn cart.

We arrived in the afternoon, and had a stroll around the town. There are so many beautiful buildings, many uninhabited, many in a heartbreakingly sorry state of dilapidation. They make up a romantically ramshackle scenery.

On our second day we hired bicycles and cycled around the island (twice! It's not very big).

A stunningly spooky building somewhere in the middle of the island. Built at the turn of the last century by a famous architect in the height of Belle Epoque style, it is one of the largest wooden buildings in the world. It was used as a Greek orphanage, and is now decaying and ghostly. I would have loved to wander the grounds and get a bit closer, maybe have a peek inside, but the huge iron gates were firmly chained and padlocked, with warnings of guard dogs! (I only saw guard chickens, but it probably wasn't worth taking the chance!). Apparently there's some talk of restoration, but it would be a heck of a project at this stage.

Buyukada doesn't have much in the way of beaches (to my slight surprise - it is an island, after all); it has a lot of cliff, which do offer some beautiful views.

About the closest there is to a beach (besides a concrete promenade covered in astroturf which charged an extortionate entrance fee) is the rocky shoreline on the north side of the island. Matin had a dip; I dipped my toes in and decided against going for the plunge.


  1. Wonderful vacations snapshots and outfits. I adore the visiting places that are free of modern modes of transportation, too.

    ♥ Jessica

  2. How lovely!!! Thank you for sharing such gorgeous photos of your trip! I love traveling! I would have never consider Turkey as a destination spot-but now you have me thinking hehe xox

  3. Wow. It looks like a pretty desolate area. The one building looks almost unstructured too. It would be really interesting to go there though, but I don't think I'd go for a vacation, but to try to help the poor there. I wonder what happened to the orphans that used to be in the one building. Looks really tall! No wonder why it was pretty known.

    1. Don't worry, it's not all that desolate, I just like photographing tumbledown buildings the most! There's a roaring tourist trade, especially day-trippers from Istanbul, who take a horse-drawn carriage tour around the island (the queue was a mile long when we went into town in the morning!)

      xx Charlotte


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