Thursday, July 23, 2009

Our Commute

We spent a couple of days this week working with Coffee Haus, the coffee roasting business where Eric and Allison work.

Jonathan assisted in roasting the coffee and helping to create a blend made specifically for the Four Seasons Hotel in Istanbul where they just started supplying coffee. Allison and I spent most of our time reorganizing and decorating the office so it looked like a professional office and functioned like a coffee roastery. Unfortunately I didn't take any before and after pictures, but there were some vast improvements.

The best part about this is the commute. Istanbul is split in half by the Bosporus Strait. The right side is Asia and the left side is Europe. The smaller divider to the left of the Bosphorous Straut is called the Golden Horn and is only an inlet. North of Istanbul is the Black Sea and south of the Sea of Mamara is the Aegean Sea which then becomes the Mediterranean Sea.

View Larger Map

That said, we live on the European side in an area called Zeytinburnu (the bottom left of the map). I guess in English, Zeytinburnu means "olive nose." Hmmm.

So, to get from our apartment to Coffee Haus takes a little over an hour and looks something like this:

This probably isn't the best picture, but I'm sure there will be more soon.

We leave our apartment and walk along the brick/cobblestone streets, past the stinky fish market to the train station. The train curves around the Golden Horn and takes us to one of the main downtown areas, and also the train station that was built to be part of the Orient Express.
Here are some of the best views we get from the train:

I don't know who this statue is of, but I'm guessing Ataturk, since most things are in honor of him here.

From the train, we cross the street (like Cairo, it's more like playing the video game Frogger) and wait for the ferry. We always make sure to sit outside to enjoy the wind and water and take the 20 minute ferry across the Bosphorous Strait to the Asian side of Istanbul. (This is my favorite part because of how much I love bodies of water!) We also get an incredible view of Istanbul from here.

From the Asian side looking to the European side.

The Bosphorous Strait up ahead.

Sometimes we wonder about the clearance of those boats if there's a big wave.

The Turkish flag is also everywhere! It's hard to get a picture without it!

Look how green-blue the water is!!!

Here's our ferry stop on the European side.
From the Asian side, we cross the street, walk past the "orange guy" up some hills, past a sculpture of a Bull, and down a hill to Coffee Haus.

And the best part is, to get home, we do the same thing all over again! I'm bummed we won't have more to do on the Asian side in the future!

So, if anyone feels bad for us because we live overseas, you don't have to because we pretty much live in the most beautiful city ever!


Lauren said...

I love the pictures! I really want to come visit you guys!

Stacee said...

Can not wait to come over there!!

Jackleen said...

Nice pictures Sarah, but what a commute!

hlw said...

WOW - yes, it does look beautiful!