Asian Istanbul Photo Gallery

Numerous municipal ferries travel between Europe and Asia. With no rail connection across the Bosporous yet, the sea route is both a scenic and vital lifeline for this huge city. Today, I set sail from Karakoy.

Maiden's Tower was a fortress during the Bzantine era, but this tower is only a century old, having been used as a quarantine centre, lighthouse, and customs.

Haydarpasa is the grand railway station on the Asian side of Istanbul. Designed by German architects as a gift from Kaiser Wilhelm, trains depart from here towards the east as far as Iran.

The ferry stops here for a convenient connection to the trains. Service is disrupted though as a high-speed railway is being built to connect with Ankara.

A quick ride later, the ferry arrived at its final stop in Kadikoy. The mosques on the European side are still visible on the horizon.

Not much in terms of historic relics remain on the Asian side thanks to the ravages of war. The Asian side today is a more modest suburban area. Kadikoy was founded by the Greeks in 675BC, but its founding fathers did not realize the European side was a far better place to settle.

A lively market occupies the inner streets, and it's not geared towards tourists.

A short single-track tram system circles around Kadikoy. A few large bus stations also help move people about next to the ferry terminal.

Uskudar is located further north along the coast. Unlike Kadikoy, it is a very conservative area settled by rural Anatolian migrants. Several large mosques are within walking distance from the ferry terminal. Thanks to the tourist information centre in Kadikoy, I was able to get here by bus rather than ferry back to the European side and then transfer to another ferry to here.

I liked this section of waterfront more as it was closer to the European side while the newer areas with skyscrapers are also visible, culminating with the bridges that span the Bosporous.

It was a nice stroll along the waterfront south towards Maiden's Tower.

Ayazma Mosque dates from the 1700's and was believed to have been named after a palace that was once located here.

Construction is under way for the first rail tunnel across the Bosporous.

The ferry had plenty of seats for the reverse commute back to the European side around sunset.

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