Bliss on the Bosphorus
This past month in Istanbul, I have been living and working on the Asian side of the Bosphorus.
Although the European side of Istanbul is the most touristy, there are many ways to enjoy yourself and find bliss on the Asian side as well. 😀
Golden Horn Ferry Tour
For starters, from the Asian ferry port of Üsküdar, my roomates and I took a ride up the Golden Horn for a mere $1. While cruising up this narrow body of water, we caught spectacular sea views and spotted at a few interesting sights along the way. 🙂Fener Greek High School is the oldest and most prestigious Greek Orthodox school in Istanbul.
Istanbul Aviation Museum in Yeşilköy.
While the ferry stopped at many ports along the Golden Horn, we chose to get off at the Ayvansaray harbor to explore the Walls of Constantinople and the Chora Church.Ayvansaray district.
Walls of Constantinople
The Walls of Constantinople are a series of stone walls and towers used to protect the city of Constantinople during the Byzantine Empire, around 330 AD.
Kitty palace built into the land wall. 🙂Historically, the defensive land walls were commissioned by Constantine the Great, as a means of protecting the city from invasion, by both land and sea.
Here is the original layout of the walls.This barrier was upheld until Ottoman forces stormed through the wall on the 29th of May in 1453. Despite this attack, much of the land walls are surprisingly still intact, and a few portions are sturdy enough for walking. 🙂
Climbing the land walls. 🙂Walking the land walls.
Chora Church, near the land walls, was originally built as a Byzantine church, then converted to a mosque after the Ottoman invasion.
Currently the building serves as a museum, which showcases truly stunning Byzantine mosaics and frescoes. Admission is $5.Sparkling gold frescoes.
Asian District of Kadikoy
Bliss can also be found in the Asian district of Kadikoy. This up-and-coming neighborhood is buzzing with people, young and old. A great balance of community locals and young hipsters, where you can find affordable antiques, quirky souvenirs, or stop at a trendy cafe. 🙂 Silly souvenir shopping. 😛
Here are a few highlights of my experience in Kadikoy. 😀
Walter’s Coffee Roastery
A Breaking Bad themed cafe, with delicious Irish lattes. 😀
The dishes at Ciya Sofrasi come from the southeastern region of Gaziantep, with a delicious mezze bar full of veggie options, including hummus, bulgur, and stuffed grape leaves.
Red lentil soup and fresh bread dipped in a strange powdered cheese. Surprisingly tasty. 🙂 Vegetarian mezze bar. For great views of the Bosphorus and sea of Mamara, head to the dock in Moda near Kadikoy.
For the best view on the Asian side; however, I only have to venture a few blocks from my apartment. 🙂
This is Camlica Hill, the highest point in Istanbul.
Biting the Bad Apple
Despite the bliss I have felt living on the Asian side of Istanbul, things have not gone so well with my school and recruiter.
Unfortunately, after numerous issues with my school, Bahçeşehir, and my recruiter, Senka Turz, I have decided to resign from my current teaching position.
I feel like I have bitten the bad apple of the bunch. I took a position that turned out to be pretty rotten.
The recruiter did not follow through with many obligations in my contract regarding housing, working visa, training, and transportation. My school was disrespectful, disorganized and I completely disagreed with their techniques for teaching and classroom management.
It was an easy decision to leave, since I feel like I would not grow personally nor professionally as an ESL teacher at that school.
On a lighter note, myself and the majority of my colleagues have resigned, and we will be moving on to new ESL positions in Asia.
No worries! I won’t let this one bad apple spoil the bunch. I still have faith in great ESL positions. 😀In fact, in the next few weeks I will be departing Turkey, bound for the beautiful country of Thailand, hoping to find continued Asian bliss. 😀
I will begin working with Assumption College in Bangkok. The school has a strong curriculum and an intensive training program. Living in Thailand has been a dream of mine for years, so I am excited beyond belief for this new journey in life. 😀
Until that time, I plan to travel a bit around Turkey, taking in the country’s top sites as my final farewell. 🙂
Stay tuned for some great travel experiences in central Turkey, as well as, my upcoming move to Bangkok. Until then! 🙂