A Day on Burgazada

Mirrored horses
I sit under a canopy of arms and jackets- lovers' tightly gripped hands, hands clutching a çay- fuel for the ride, students holding ipods. I've found a precious corner of ground on the çok full ferry and have parked myself there for the hour and 10 minute commute to Burgazada. Cup of çay nearby and a book I am completely immersed in, in hand, I look forward to the upcoming stretch of time with nothing else to do but sit and read. Although it seems impossible, more people squeeze into the ferry at the Kadikoy stop, finding their own slot in the human jigsaw of the ferry. Simit and çay vendors bore through the crowd, a gypsy band come through peppering the air with rhythmic drumming and melodic voices. There is an excitement to being on water, a day's getaway.

Spring flowers
 When the ferry rocks to a stop it repeatedly collides into the dock with each coming wave, a series of excited high fives. I step out into the sun and meet Julie and Annika- friends I have come to spend the day with. Our first stop is the ice cream spot right across from the ferry terminal- mastik and krokan flavors with the springy, "chewy" quality of Turkish ice cream on a cone, a perfect start to a day on the island.

Pied piper of cats

Van Cat

Spring foal

Lovely ladies

 After catching up at home for a few hours, we take a walk around the island. It is perfumed with lilac and wisteria, wet earth, trees, and the sea. Each hill and turn gives another stunning view of the shimmering water and fog-adorned isles. We cross a street called "yakamoz", which Julie informs us was voted the most beautiful word in the world. It means the light on the water cast by the moon. After a few twists and turns, we stop by a private dock to gaze at the view. The water is clear with a few jellyfish loitering about. We run into a lot of animals on our walk- one street seems to be overrun with cats lazing and a few dogs on the periphery- it feels like an animal retirement community. We spot a Van cat- white with two different colored eyes- one blue, one yellow. Horses without bridles graze on the side of the path. Two white ones drink from the same puddle, their heads come together and their bodies momentarily make a heart shape.

I stay overnight and in the morning, I walk down the hill towards to dock to catch the 7am ferry. It rained overnight and the air feels almost tropical- humid and fragrant. The crows caw and the seagulls release their squawks, sounds like laughter on the brink of hysteria or the squeaky honking from New Year's party horns- they are late night revelers continuing the celebration through to dawn. Plants are bursting with flowers- pinks, purples, and yellows, snails leave their trails on the road. The light is soft and muted. It is nice to see the island at this time, when most are still asleep.

Morning dew

I make the ferry with ample time, one of the few groggy-eyed people who has gotten up to make its early morning departure. It is the polar opposite of the noon ferry from the day before- empty and cloaked in silence- no musicians and no simit vendors marketing their ring-shaped bread- and I resist the urge to spread myself on one of its empty benches and doze back into unfinished sleep.

Ferry ride home

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