Picturesque run

It is January 23rd and 11C degrees and sunny! I could crow happily, but the rooster down the street is already doing that (it’s almost noon…I think his timing is a bit off).

Yes, rooster.

Apparently these now-teeming hilltop neighborhoods were not so long ago expanses of land where sheep grazed. I assume the rooster is a fallback to one of the then-rural homes that still perch precariously (to my eye) on the side of the steep hill that leads up from the Bosporus.

If you think I lie about the steepness, check this out:

That rock isn’t there to accessorize the tire. I passed it as I made my sloooooooooow way up the hill (but what feels like a mountain to this Illinois girl).

So despite having scaled the darn hill once already during a walk by the sea this morning with my neighbor, her Labradoodle, and Zoya, I decided to give it one more go and head down along the Bosporus for a run (aka jog). Completely off my exercise schedule, to which I was ferociously dedicated to in Moscow, I am now an utter slug, a fact that one run will not remedy but did at least get me out of the apartment to enjoy the beautiful weather.

I took a new path down to the sea, one which took me through Arnavutköy (meaning “Albanian Village”) instead of the normal Bebek (“baby”) route. The sidewalks were enormous in comparison (definitely a new walking path for Zoya and me; no more worries about unceremoniously pushing fellow pedestrians into the busy street or, as is more typical, having pedestrians willingly jump into the street to avoid us…and when I say “us” I, of course, mean “Zoya”).

On the way down – about a 14-minute slow descent – I saw the following homes, lovely in their uniquely wooden, colorful way (until the 20th century, Istanbul was predominantly a “wooden” city, from the Ottoman era; after, however, more solid construction was used so the wooden buildings stand out…not sure these are from Ottoman era but they are definitely photo-worthy…sadly iPhone doesn’t do them justice):

Once I hit the Bosporus, I turned left and headed along the boardwalk, to cafe-restaurant-lined Bebek and then to similarly cafe-restaurant-lined Rumelihisarı (“Rumelian Castle”, Rumeli meaning “land of the Romans”). Istanbul is a cafe culture, with cafes, restaurants, fish and produce stands, ice cream shops, etc. etc. (I am adding the ice cream shop to my culinary investigation list; seems there are waffle-like breads and a multitude of interesting toppings involved which leads me to believe these stores aren’t exactly like DQ.) Lovely. Wonderful. Charming. Delicious.

But I digress…the purpose of this post is to share some of the sights (poorly portrayed by my iPhone but hopefully you’ll get the idea) I saw along the way. Unfortunately I didn’t capture too many fishermen, but they are there, peppered along the walkway from Bebek to Rumeli, with their loooooong fishing poles and buckets of bait.

Left pic: You can just see the fisherman to the left of the lighthouse.
Right pick:
The old fortress walls

Finally, to the left, a picture I took when about three-quarters of the way up the hill heading back to our apartment. You can see the old stone wall, and the green is actually almost vertical, with steps dug into the ground where items are grown. (Am pretty sure this is where the rooster resides, in one of the small huts on the side of the hill that you can’t see in this picture…NOT the big white house at the top…don’t think they have to rely on roosters for their livelihood!).

Hope the sun is shining where you are.

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