Istanbul can be a bit stifling at times (understatement) and unless you live somewhere fancy like Sultanahmet, Galata, what I’ve seen of the Asian side, even Taksim, everything can get a bit samey. Same honking anarchic traffic madness, same grey building over developedness, same shopping mall soulessness. Living so far West of centre can be maddening.
Every weekend involves going to the centre at least once, to party, to see stuff. Don’t get me wrong, we are lucky. Although we live at the edge of the city the transport links are always there, 24/7. But a minimum travel time of one hour every weekend is bloody tiring. And if you’re not careful it can drain all prior enthusiasm for whatever it is you were making the trip for. Time to look for the good stuff West of centre.
Yesilkoy is a destination that sprang to mind through Wikitravel’s assertion that it ‘still partly retains more of a town atmosphere’. Persuasion enough for me.
Although our journey was short, due to usual late weekend rising times (damn daylight savings), we were pleasantly surprised. This town holds on to a lot of the character that has been replaced with grey buildings, apartment blocks and neon lights in much of the European side. A breath of fresh(er) air.
Topped off with a visit to Lavazza, it was our own two hour mini break, complete with fancy coffee and cakes.
Would definately recommend to those who want a taste of something that is at core Istanbul with a little more frills attached.
Oh, and theres a lighthouse. Will look out for that next time…