A trip to “Princess Island.”

Princes’ Island is situated in the south-east of the Istanbul city, in the Sea of Marmara. The Princes’ Islands consist of a group of nine islands. We were told that during the 7thCentury of Byzantine period and later during the Ottoman Empire, the members of the royal family were exiled to these islands. We decided to take a day trip to its fourth and largest island, named Büyükada. We went there by ferry. We bordered a ferry at Kabatas ferry docks situated on the European side of the Bosphorus, near the famous Dolmabahce Palace. Our ferry boat stopped at one or two islands, (I forgot to write the names) to drop off a few passengers before we reached Büyükada. The trip to Büyükada turned out to be an excellent experience. When we reached the island, we realised that it prohibits motor vehicles, so there were no cars, buses and motorbikes, etc. The only way to go about is on a horse carriage, bicycles or on foot. I thought hmmm this is my kind of island and wished if back home in the Maldives, the government would ever introduce such a policy in our tiny little islands. I know it’s some wishful thinking! 😦 Anyway back to Büyükada experience. We rode on a horse carriage and first visited a red pine forest. It was my first time to see a pine forest. After that we walked all day, some parts of the island were quite hilly, and it was beneficial if you think about missing workouts while on holiday.  I have a thing for beautiful architecture and gardens, and at the time of our visit the gardens had so many colourful varieties of blooms, the sight itself was pleasing and satisfying experience for me. One part of the island had so many restaurants, it gave me the impression that the area is exclusively allocated for catering businesses. All along the seaside, there were numerous restaurants, coffee shops, ice cream places with outdoor seating so that people can enjoy the sea view and the fresh breeze or air and just relax. Coming from an island nation that has bad land use plans (labour quarters and warehouses built at the seaside blocking the view and very few places that people can sit and enjoy the sea view), I could not help but wished if we could take places like Büyükada as an example in planning our islands.

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