Jessica and I, along with her roommate Sachi, took a 90-minute ferry to the Princes Islands off of Istanbul, and spent the afternoon on the island of Büyükada.
Just getting to the ferry was an adventure. We showed up to the ferry terminal (part of the municipal metro system) just before 10 for a boat that turned out to be at 10:30, but there was already a crowd. The group got more and more packed together over the next half hour, at various times erupting into spontaneous applause and cheering for nothing. When the time got near, there were a few back-and-forths as the mob rushed first towards one door, then another, then back again, as people guessed which way led to the ferry. The actual boarding process was just as frantic, with people skipping the gangways and jumping onto the boat at any available point. Once inside, it was clear that there were far more passengers than seats, and many, perhaps most, ended up sitting in stairways and on the floor.
The only industry on the island appeared to be tourism, not that we minded much. I probably filled my tourist quota for the month, riding a horse-drawn carriage to a crowded beach, eating ice cream, having lunch in a restaurant, and buying matching flower wreaths with Jessica to put in our hair (…).
In the evening we happened to run into a high school friend of Jessica’s, and we hung out under the Galata Tower. Jessica also found another friend: