Things to Do with Kids in Istanbul: Pierre Loti Teleferik

On our way home from Haydarpaşa Station a toddler tragedy struck. When we were walking from Taksim to Beşiktaş we arrived at the teleferik (cable car) station to find the gates closed, and a notice telling us that the cars had been removed for repair. Anton was very very sad. He was still talking about it the next day so I decided to take him on the other teleferik in the city at Pierre Loti (Piyerloti).

Pierre Loti is written Piyerloti in Turkish, just as John F. Kennedy Street in Ankara was until some years ago signposted "Can F. Kenedi Caddesi". You can find various examples of French and English words thus transliterated into Turkish, such as "Kuaför", "Kruvasan", "Vapur" and in Orhan Pamuk's "Museum of Innocence", the "Şanselize" boutique.

The excursion I planned can be one of the most pleasant and smoothest you can take in a city that can be hard work. You get on a boat at Üsküdar which takes you up the Golden Horn to Eyüp, where you walk a couple of hundred metres past beautiful historical buildings to the teleferik station. Unfortunately, my day did not go as perfectly as planned. When I got to Üsküdar I was told that the boat was currently only going as far as Kasımpaşa (the Prime Minister's neighbourhood). This is well before Eyüp and on the wrong side of the Golden Horn. Arriving there, I decided to walk. I should have known better, and I'm happy we survived. After a few minutes the pavement narrowed to nearly nothing beside a very busy road. I had to carry the pushchair while telling Anton to keep his shoulder to the wall. We got in a taxi as soon as we were able. Istanbul is not really made for the majority of its people.

Pierre Loti, being part of the Golden Horn area, and specifically the Eyüp area, is mostly inhabited by and visited by the more religious segments of society. I have really noticed that there is a better atmosphere, and more holiday feeling, at destinations that are within most people's reach. The very wealthy seem to need to exercise, or feign, a kind of disdain for the pleasures that they are privileged to afford. Sitting in the teleferik I feel moved by the excitement of the families around us. The woman next to me, who also had her son on her knee, slightly exaggerated her gestures as if she was amplifying the moment to make it easier to remember. A man carried his severely disabled sister into the car ahead of ours and her delighted presence at the top increased the general sense of joy. When I arrived, the lift was out of order so I had to carry the pushchair up the stairs while trying not to knock Neve's legs with it (she was in her sling as usual).  So the man must have had to carry his sister up before me. The cafe at the top is leafy, with red and white checked tablecloths and a wonderful view down the Golden Horn.

Rather than the relaxed boat ride I planned, our return journey began (to Anton's delight) on a bus to Eminönü. Anton slept for most of the hour we spent travelling the short distance. A man held his bag against the window to block the sun from Anton's face. His arm must have ached by the time I carried Anton and Neve out to the boat. I'm grateful to him.

Much as Anton enjoyed the teleferik, the highlight of his day turned out to be the Football Sculpture of Üsküdar, which he played on as we waited for the boat to Beşiktaş. Actually we let three go without us, it was that good.


Tea for me on the boat to Kasımpaşa.

Pavements of Kasımpaşa.

Pavements of Kasımpaşa.

The view down the Golden Horn.

Ice-cream at the Piyerloti cafe.

Historical buildings in Eyüp.

The football sculpture of Üsküdar.

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4 thoughts on “Things to Do with Kids in Istanbul: Pierre Loti Teleferik

  1. I would love to have Anton´s ice- cream... looks so very yummy.... the pics are lovely!

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  2. Glad there were some highlights to a diffucult day. You have explained the area so well and although it would have been frustrating with things being closed, it was so good that Anton enjoyed the sculpture and it looks like he had a delicious ice-cream to enjoy also.

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  3. What an interesting day. I am glad that man showed kindness to you and a sleeping Anton to protect him from the glare of the sun! I wonder what memories anton and neve will store from this time. You really must be incredibly fit to take them to these interesting but obviously very challenging places. Well done you good mum.

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  4. I would have enjoyed it better with your help Mum!! I feel so up for the challenge of giving them interesting experiences in this fantastic city, but what I wouldn't give for an extra pair of hands sometimes.

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