April 30th. We take the ferry to one of the Princes’ Islands, Buyukada. Over the years the islands have been used to exile undesirables or as a safe haven for same. Trotsky had a house here. The only way to get to the islands is by ferry and there are no cars on the islands. Once you arrive you travel by horse drawn carriage or bicycle. We lined up to catch a carriage. The horses are beautiful and well cared for, they switch them out during the day to keep them refreshed. So up we go over the top of the island. We are in a line of horse drawn carriages and pass a line of them coming back down the hill. Along the side of the road are people on bicycles. I think they are very brave to tackle these hills along side the horses and carriages that predominate. I did see someone knocked off her bicycle when our driver made the corner. The driver seemed incensed that she was in the way!
The landscape is green and lush and stacked with Victorian gingerbread houses up to the top! We stop in a parklike area just to admire the view and our driver splashes our horses with buckets of water and gives them to drink. After a few (bad) pictures of me we’re off and back down the island. Afterwards we wander what I can only describe as a fairyland of shops and restaurants. We stop at a restaurant on the water and I have the “little fishes” that are so prevalent in that part of the world (I’d had them in Greece too.) They’re red mullets according to the waiter. Fried whole, they’re tasty little treats….
Back on the 4 o’clock ferry, I am fixated on finding the man who’s selling the lemon juicer. On our way out as we neared the island he came into the cabin and in rapid fire Turkish demonstrated a really cool little gadget. You screw it into the lemon, squeeze the lemon and collect juice in the little cuppy thing at the top. We thought we could get them at a shop on the island but we were told that they only sold them on the ferry so I became obsessed with finding this guy on our way back because it would apparently be my last chance. I waited anxiously for him to come around again. I HAD to have a dozen of these gadgets to give to all my friends.
“Randy, where’s the lemon juicer guy? Is he here? What if he’s not on the ferry?”
I see a guy come around selling something and I am hopeful but he’s selling the little tops that look like minarets that are everywhere. Randy saves the day describing to him what we want. He tells us to wait right there (or at least that’s what we think he’s saying). And he brings back the guy with the juicers! Give me 12 I say. And so I have two left if anybody wants one. I’m apparently not the only one crazy for them – Earl at the Denizen told me he bought 10 and he’s got friends in San Francisco that are still using them….
Only two more days before we leave….