Rumeli Feneri, Another Hidden Treasure of Istanbul
What I like the most from living in Istanbul is I never get enough to discover new places. No matter how exhausted I was when I found myself getting lost (again) in the city, or hopping onto the wrong bus / train, there is always something new to explore. Istanbul has a lot of corners that reflects the essence of the city. As three days ago, instead of took the underground train to Yenikapi, I took the opposite one. I just realized that I was on the wrong train when I was only few stations from the last stop. I then decided to continue my journey to the last station and see what I can do in that area.
I went out from Haciosman metro station, and sat for a while at the bus station located right to the metro station. I was busy with my mind to decide whether I should go back to the city center or look for interesting places surrounding the neighborhood. All of a sudden, my eyes caught something from the google maps. I saw one name which I’ve never heard before, Rumeli Feneri. Using moovit application, I found that there is one IETT bus, number 150, going to that place, straightly from the place where I was sitting.
I hopped on the bus. From Haciosman station, the journey took me almost one hour to reach another hidden treasure of Istanbul. But I did not regret the journey. Beside getting spoiled by the beauty of Bosphorus that never bores me, the bus took me to the places that I’ve never explored before. When the bus passed small forest, the third bridge connecting Asia and Europe, the black sea, I felt like I was somewhere out of Istanbul, but actually I was not. Then I realized how large Istanbul is.
I arrived to the last stop, then I tried my luck to find the famous light house in Rumeli Feneri as I read from wikipedia during my bus journey from Haciosman. Before the population exchange, Rumeli Feneri was a little Greek fishing village, now it becomes Turkish fishing village. Its name, Feneri, was taken from Turkish word, means lighthouse. The lighthouse stands at the edge of the village during the Crimean war, with the reason that every empire had: defense and navigation. At the other side, Rumeli Feneri fortress is still standing throughout the centuries. The fortress was built to defense and protect the Golden Horn from the invasion. Nevertheless, the fortress itself is not well-maintained. Some structures of fortress had been damaged here and there. Even though I saw many people climbing to the top of fortress, I personally considered it is not that safe.
The castle was not so crowded by visitors. During my time there, I met some families visiting the place. Additionally, two couples did pre wedding photographs. Seeing the small number of visitors, I assumed that there are not so many tourists aware of this historical place. Out of fortress, a rocky beach with small lagoon offers irresistible temptation to jump into water. At the other side, some cows was lazily standing, enjoying the summer that will come to and end in the next few weeks. I spent like one hour to sit there, spoiled myself by enjoying the nature the village could offer, and feeling the breeze on my face.
Before returning to the bus stop, I stopped at one coffee house located at the edge of the shore. Having a cup of Turkish coffee in my hand, I watched the village and its simple life. Rumeli Feneri stands an example of simple life that many visitors from the megacity Istanbul many not know ever exist.