Orient-Express 3: Evening on Two Continents (50 p.)

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Proud Earthling

To the previous part of the series:
Orient-Express 2: Istanbul Sirkeci - Haydarpasa (50 p.)

November 4 2008

To the local rail traffic map of Istanbul:

We left the bridge in front of Haydarpasa terminal and circumvented the jam around Kadiköy bus station.

Somewhere inbetween Dolmus minibusses we lastly found a small red tram...
This is the "nostalgic" circular course T3 Kadiköy - Moda which had been opened in 2003 and was being operated by vehicles from East German town Gotha. Number 20 displayed on the trams had no current meaning. The 1,6 mile circuit was used in a clockwise direction, during our visit two units were in service.

A little more info can be found here:

In front of the small shed trams without full advertisement livery could be found well "guarded".

Damga Sokak stop.

Near Mühürdar the line emerged from the urban canyon, and suddenly the Bosporus spread out in front of the passengers.

European sights.

Europe and Asia in one street photo.

If you believe Asian Istanbul would be more exotic, you are going to be mildly disappointed. This quarter with its pedestrian zone and church is as tame as any Central European small town centre. Only the call of the Muezzin added some spice to the scenery.

And of course the sesame bread roll vendor cannot be missed at Moda.

From a fancier pedestrian zone, already completely in the shade, we took a tram back to Kadiköy promenade.

I liked the ferry dock buildings.

View at the good old, still complete Haydarpasa.

Classic ferryboats provided still more old-time charm, here steering towards the Blue Mosque featuring six minarets (to the left) and Hagia Sophia (center/right).

We entered the terminal.

Into this direction Haydarpasa was skipped, cormorants had gathered on the breakwater in front of the station.

Looking back towards Kadiköy.

Once more freight cars had changed on the pier, in the background Haydarpasa Campus of Marmara University.

An armada of ships lay anchored on the Bosporus.

We approached the European side, past some fishing boats, with the Blue Mosque in the background.

View from the entrance into the Golden Horn towards the first Bosporus bridge, which had been opened in 1973. 5 kms further north you can find a second one.

Back on European ground with sesame bread stands, in the background you can spot a T1 tram on Galata Bridge.

Looking into the Golden Horn from Galata Bridge, due to the confined view you might think it was ending here, but it stretched a further 7 kms into the city. Recently a new underground bridge was constructed, so this scenery has changed since.

Crowds of anglers gathered in the evening light, this top motif had to be savoured extensively.

Modern and old Istanbul next to each other.

Bosporus and Karaköy ferry terminal to the right.

The shores were dotted with parked ships, in the background often minarets surrounded by scaffolding could be seen, here Fatih-Mosque.

Last light on this fountain.

Sunset on Galata Bridge at 4:30 p.m..

View towards Asia with parade of different ferry types, railway ferry to the far right.

Real half moon above the New Mosque.

Next we had skewers of shashlik for dinner at a quite nice restaurant.

Warmed up we spent some more time in the cool sea breeze on the pedestrian bridge across the tram line near Sirkeci.

Time is flowing.

Trams on Galata Bridge and ferries on the Golden Horn in front of Galata Tower.

From the other direction a tram turned along the shore at Sirkeci.

A car ferry can be seen to the left.

We visited Sirkeci halt for a last time.

Next we fetched our luggage and entered the dimly lit platforms of the station - our third night in a sleeping car lay ahead of us!

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