Thursday, October 14, 2010

Istanbul Terminals

via Flickr and sheltonjcksn
Once adored by glamorous rail travellers of Europe, the circa 1890 Sirkeci train terminal in Istanbul remains a sentinal of the golden age of rail service. The architecture is one of the the best examples of European Orientalism anywhere. Victorian rooflines and Ottoman arches blend seamlessly into the unique patterns of the city.

The terminal still connects Istanbul with the rest of Europe with lines running through either Thessaloniki or Bucharest. Though the famed Orient Express does not travel from Paris to Istanbul anymore, once a year romantics can ride the Venice Simplon luxury train service on some of the original cars, for a pricey $4,600 and change. (Agatha Christie can keep her secrets for that fare!) Tourists not riding the train are still welcome to visit the Sirkeci station to watch the whirling dervishes  perform, or to visit the popular Orient Express restaurant.
Istanbul's other terminal, the Haydarpaşa Terminal is the on the Asian side of the city and it connects to points east. Built in 1909, the neo-renaissance style structure is a testament to strong German-Turkish relations. 

The impressive, gorgeous building is surounded on three sides by water so the best view of it is from the Kadikoy ferry. I''ll probably never forget the first time I saw it.
I could describe it to you some more, but Spritz on your Chanel No. 5 and pretend you're Audrey Tautou.  It's a much nicer experience:

Istanbul's Ottoman train stations may be lovely. However, most travel guides do not recommend using the Turkish rail system. I have to agree.

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Kim Busk said...

Wow, what a connercial! If I ever ride the train I think I'll go buy some Chanel. Giggle

LTM said...

absolutely gorgeous--they look like castles! I can see why you love it so much... :D (giggle @Chanel No. 5 comment...)

Hart Johnson said...

They really are amazing! I love train stations anyway, but those are particularly gorgeous, and love the ad that features so much of it!

OJ Gonzalez-Cazares said...

wow! what a gorgeous, sexy and romantic video!! She is so cute, I like her since Amelie. Istanbul looks beautiful - and now, I'm craving a simit with cream cheese and a cup (clear glass with wavy shape) of chai, one square of sugar.. thanks for the historical background on the orient express.


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