Haydarpaşa Station, Istanbul - BEFORE the fire
A few days ago, I wrote a post about travelling Turkey by train and I included a photo of Sirkeci Train Station on the European side of Istanbul. But, I also wanted to display this photo of Haydarpaşa Train Station on the Asian side; except I couldn't bring myself to do it. In that last post, I mentioned the horrendous November fire that gutted the building. The talk over the next few weeks was whether the building would survive - it looked as though this iconic structure (and one of my favourite Istanbul landmarks), sitting on the shores of the Bosphorus was going to be lost. And what a sad loss to the world that would be.
Haydarpaşa is not just another train station. Depending on the direction you are travelling in, it is the first or last train station in Asia. Likewise, Sirkeci station is your exit from or entrance to the rail lines of Europe. Rail travellers can leave Sirkeci, hop on the commuter ferry a few metres away, sail out of the Golden Horn, leaving Europe behind and cross the Boshporus into Asia. The ferry docks at the Haydarpaşa jetty (I took this photo from the deck of the ferry) and passengers can disembark and immediately enter the station - and the rail lines of Turkey. If it's nostalgia and romance you look for in your travels then this is where your imagination can dizzy itself with dreams of how journeying used to be.
Anyway, I didn't post this photo on Monday because we thought all that was gone. It felt like the end of an era and I just wanted to keep hold of my photo. However, it appears from the comments we received (thanks Steph and Aaron) underneath the Train Travel in Turkey post that the station, at least for now, is up and running again - and we're happy again!