24 Ekim 2013 Perşembe

Trees Lead the Way

How beautiful trees are, especially in this season, the colours take your breath away. And if you get a mellow breeze to move those leaves, then they’re a sight to see…

There are so many spots to go on an enjoyable walk to watch the leaves turn in Istanbul.

You don’t even have to travel far away to do so.

Have you ever noticed the Japanese Garden in Baltalimani?

The garden, which you can walk through with taking just a little break from your daily routines, is a 30th anniversary gift from the Shimonoseki City in Japan, which has been Istanbul’s sister city since 1972.

While you are taking in the beauty of this garden you can learn about Shimonoseki and Japan.

If you wish to travel further away from the city center, before making your way to the Belgrad Forest- which is the lungs of our city- you can take the first left before the last traffic lights and find your way to the Atatürk Arboretum.

The arboretum was opened in 1949, and it greets its visitors with a marvelous diversity of trees and plants. The arboretum also contains Turkey’s first nursery garden, which was founded in 1912 and sent the first trees to the famous Ankara Gazi Osman Farm.

You can spend hours in this spot, relaxing and taking
in the beauty either by yourself or with loved ones.

Don’t forget to taste the fresh and ice cold fountain water that comes from a natural source within the arboretum. 

And now, a very old Istanbulite: This plane tree, that is assumed to be 400 to 600 years old, has grown so much to the point it’s branches resemble an octopus, hence its nickname- the Octopus Plane Tree.

The notorious tree resides on the Bilezikci Farm Property and though it still stands tall, it needs the care and protection from us humans.

 Beautiful and unoccupied farmhouses also reside on the property.

Unfortunately, the tree and the farmhouses are not open to general public since the Farm and its 800 hectares land belongs to the Istanbul University’s Faculty of Forestry, and can only be visited with special permissions.

In hopes of always following trees, which lead us to serenity, calmness and happiness…

Until next time,
Tracer of Istanbul

4 Ekim 2013 Cuma

Fall in Istanbul

The colds have suddenly arrived in Istanbul. It sure gets chilly in the city now. However, there are many places to be seen, secrets to be discovered, and many events to be visited. For instance, you can catch the last few days of Filmekimi. For details click here.

Another great event is the Biennial. Exhibitions that address the theme "Mom, am I a barbarian?" take place in many different venues and spaces throughout the city. You can click here for more information.

No, the rain is not an excuse to stay in. What are your umbrellas, rain boots, raincoats for? Go on; go out on to the streets of Istanbul...

For instance, you can go visit Kalliopi Lemos' exhibiton which is a parallel event to the Biennal. The exhibitiontakes place in Yoakimion Greek High School for Girls that was founded in 1879 but shut down in the late 1980's. The school stands as it was, and takes the visitors to an Istanbul from a previous era.

You can find more information about visiting this event by clicking here, but beware: the visiting hours on the website are incorrect, the event is open for visitation at 11 am.

Lemos'exibition will end on November 10th. Below a little mark of us on the blackboard.

Another event that shouldn't be missed is the Second Hand Book Sellers Festival. It's quite possible to lose yourself with the smell of old books. The event takes place in Tepebasi and you can find old magazines, pictures, postcards and vinyl records as well as books there.

Finally, the last place we want to mention is hidden away...

When in Belgrad Forest, if you take the horse touring route behind the Falih Rıfkı Atay Recreation Space's diner, and follow the path about 300 meters, you'll run into these ruins.

When Suleiman the Magnificent was returning from his campaign to Serbia, his army brought along slaves and settled them in the forest. The settlement stood there until mid 1800s when they got resettled in different locations, since the settlement polluted the water sources within the forest. This building is said to be the Church of Saint Georges.

Don't just look at these pictures; go and see these places and events yourself. And don't forget to take your Istanbul Diary to write down your experiances.

Until next time,

Tracer of Istanbul