Running in Istanbul

I am travelling for a couple days for work. I usually get a hotel with a gym, but not all European hotels are equipped, which was my case… so I brought my sneakers and decided to lace up at the end of the afternoon.

I am in Istanbul, Turkey which is on both sides of the Bosphorus river (isn’t this NASA photo AMAZING ?!) I am staying on the Asian (right) side of the city, that is on the Marmara Sea across from the islands in the lower right.

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I had come to Istanbul for the first time  about 18 months ago and was fascinated. The little I visited was on the left, or the “European side” of the river. So I was thrilled to discover a new area which used to be beach resorts. Not sure when the resorts disappeared, but the land along the sea has been transformed into bike / running paths and a giant water front park.

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So I headed out for an hour, there were miles of paths up and down the coast with beautiful views of the islands. There were also sevearal marinas and beaches along the way (not sure I would swim in the water).

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Other running discoveries : Fitness equipment ! There were machines like this placed in several spots along the route :

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And cats ! There were a ton of stray cats. Boo. Seriously, the cat population has got to be out of control.

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I ended up being out for an hour, probably “ran” 6 km and walked the rest of the time, enjoying the scenery and people watching.

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I much needed this run after tasting the local specialties at lunch (lamb with pistachios) but I didn’t dare try the Turkish coffee, I stuck with regular espresso. I regretted it though, so tomorrow will be about finding Turkish coffee.

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Have you ever been to Istanbul ? Did you like it ?

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Comments: 11

  1. Deborah @ Confessions of a Mother Runner September 9, 2015 at 10:14 pm Reply

    I was there 2 summers ago on the other side. Looks very different and I would not have felt comfortable running there at all. Be careful! Beautiful pics though
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    • Karen - French Inspiration September 10, 2015 at 11:43 pm Reply

      I find the city fascinating but not sure I would have run on the European side either.

  2. HoHo Runs September 10, 2015 at 2:34 am Reply

    Looks like a beautiful path along the water. I wonder why they don’t do something about controlling the cat population? Maybe they need them for the mice?
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    • Karen - French Inspiration September 10, 2015 at 11:44 pm Reply

      Apparently it is in the Turkish culture to be very kind to animals so they actually feed them and take care of them. At least that is what I have understood from someone who spent some time there.

  3. Melanie @ Happy Being Healthy September 10, 2015 at 6:11 am Reply

    Wow, I love all of your pictures! I would love to visit Turkey one day! I love that exercise equipment along your path. So cool. I also feel so bad for all of those poor cats. 🙁
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    • Karen - French Inspiration September 10, 2015 at 11:46 pm Reply

      Thank you, very interesting, the clash of cultures. Definitely some place I would go back to.

  4. Kelli September 10, 2015 at 11:33 am Reply

    I have never been to Istanbul, although I must say it looks beautiful. The random cats reminds me of the path along the ocean by the historic fort in San Juan, Puerto Rico. There were hundreds of cats along there, it was weird. Glad you were able to get in a nice run on your trip!
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    • Karen - French Inspiration September 10, 2015 at 11:48 pm Reply

      I have never been to Puerto Rico. Did they find a way to control the cat population ?

  5. Jennifer September 14, 2015 at 12:55 am Reply

    Fun! I was suppose to go on a bike tour of the Asian side last year, but the agency messed up and we did not get to go (a boat tour instead).
    Jennifer recently posted…Chicago Marathon Training Week 14 – 8/31-9/6My Profile

    • Karen - French Inspiration September 16, 2015 at 3:05 am Reply

      Bike tour would have been great. Did you like the city ? It is absolutely one of the most interesting places I have ever been.

  6. Jennifer September 16, 2015 at 3:55 am Reply

    I thought it was beautiful! I wish I had more time to explore the country (another trip for the future). I found some of the people to be aggressive in the city/markets, but otherwise it was a good holiday and I love the food.
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