I’d say Spring has arrived. We took a trip yesterday to Göztepe Park in the Kadıköy neighborhood of Istanbul. We were hoping to meet up with some friends. That didn’t work out. No big deal. We spent an enjoyable afternoon in a beautiful park.
Because Spring in Istanbul means tulips. Lots of them. The parks all over the city are filled with them. Tulips came with the Turks from Central Asia. According to Medieval Musings,
For most, the tulip conjures up visions of the Dutch landscape–canals, windmills, and fields of blooming flowers. These popular and diverse flowers, however, had their beginnings in Central Asia, and were brought within the reach of Europe by the Ottomans. Although widely cultivated in imperial gardens, the tulip was immortalised in Ottoman culture in a different form, as a motif widely employed by the imperial workshops during the reign of Suleyman ‘the Magnificent’.
So it’s not a surprise that tulips are still a very important part of Turkish gardens and life.
As you can see, the tulips (and pansies and hyacinths) are clustered in well-shaped pools of color. Göztepe is one of the best (if not the best) parks in the city. There is a separate section that is rose garden (which is currently not in-bloom). Rare is the weekend day, when the flowers are in bloom, that there is not a wedding couple posing for photos.
In addition to these beautiful flower beds, there are all kinds of playground equipment to play on. And this giant caterpillar.
Our kids love this park. But it is a jaunt to get to from our apartment in Şişli. But the ferry ride across the Bosphorus is a nice excuse to take in the Istanbul skyline and drink tea.
When the kids became hungry we ate a late lunch at a cafe across the street from the park. We had intended to walk down Bağdat Street but Meredith tripped and banged her knee pretty hard. So took a taxi back to the ferry port and headed home, where we iced Meredith’s knee and the kids passed the rest of the afternoon watching Phineas and Ferb videos on my laptop.