19 September 2013

Yıldız Parkı

I've been meaning to visit Yıldız Parkı for quite a while now. In fact I was going to take my mom when she was here in May but we were foiled by a too long of wait for the bus. I.e. I got impatient. We went to the Dolmabahçe instead.

I'm glad that in the end my mom and I didn't make it here, even though the park was likely prettier in May than in August after the dry summer we've had. But when my friend and I got there we were confronted by a hike up the long steep hill into the park that I'm sure my mom wouldn't have appreciated. Ugh. I didn't appreciate it either. I'm looking for relaxation and quiet strolls in my parks, thank you.

Chalet no 1
Yıldız is the largest park in Istanbul proper. It's definitely beat out for size by the Belgrade Forest but that's pretty far outside of the main city. Which is why, despite my fondness for all things even remotely related to FRY, I haven't been yet. In addition to being a great place for a picnic, when you find some flat space that is, Yıldız also has a palace/museum and two chalets that are now restaurants.

Lovely for a wedding, no?
The park was once the private grounds of a sultan someone, thus the palace/museum and chalets. Because I guess one cannot be expected to live in what I am sure is a perfectly lovely palace but must have two nearby chalets to which to repair when bored with the palace. Perfectly reasonable.

There are statues everywhere. I photographed only the above giraffe (I love giraffes) but there were also dogs, elephants, and slightly creepy children. Most of the are flower pot holders but the giraffes were just hanging out.

Best telephone booth ever!

In addition to the dog statues there were of course, because it's Istanbul, real dogs hanging out everywhere. And cats. I love cats. Which reminds me that I have to a) get a cat carrier and b) take poor Sherlock to the vet one of these days to get paperwork for her.

Grounds of chalet no 2
I couldn't help but think of my dad walking through here. Actually my dad is why I took a picture of the deer statue at the top of the post. All the water fowl also made me think of him. One of the pasture fields at my parents' is now wetlands. And thanks to a great upbringing complete with chores that include haying, birthing (one foal and one calf to my record), raising, and killing various farm and forest animals and walking into the barn to see dead deer hanging...I will take a city of 15+ million over living in the country every single time.

I have nothing against turtles though
Chalet number two was less impressive than number one, the building anyway. The grounds around it were lovely though. And notice that there are no pictures of the palace/museum? Not an oversight. We went to the park on the one blasted day of the week it was closed! Given that hill it might be a while before I venture back.

Chalet no 2

Despite my happiness over now being a firmly entrenched city girl, I very much enjoyed the stroll around the park and the chance to be away from the noise generated by 15+ million people. The traffic here is truly unbelievable and a quiet afternoon in a park is a gift.
Random other charming building

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