Monday, January 25, 2016

Bosphorus Tour

One of our days in Istanbul was taken with a boat tour of the Bosphorus.  I would never have imagined the delightful view along its banks where Europe truly does meet Asia.   

The European side has all the mosques and palaces of the Istanbul where we stayed which I thought was beyond spectacular. But somehow it's the much more subdued Asian side that really delighted me.  The entire city, with its endless shoreline is staggeringly beautiful.  

It was a hot, hot day (it was around 40C (100F) every day we were there) but, as long as you stayed in shade, it was much cooler on the water.   I was impressed with the cleaniness of the water of the strait.  A population of 14 million and they maintain water clean enough for swimming. 


With that many inhabitants it's not surprising that every inch of space is well utilised.    The bridge across the Golden Horn between Beyoglu and Fatih is lined with fishermen, cars, and fish restaurants. The cars ride across the top where the fishermen stand and try their luck with very long lines and poles. Staircases lead down to a lower level closer to the water and lined with restaurants. 



 A beautiful waterside mosque, Buyuk Medidiye Camii 
(Grand Imperial Mosque of Sultan Abdulmecid)

 
 Ciragan Palace, built by Sultan Abdulaziz in 1874

At the narrowest part of the Bosphorus, stands the impressive fortress of Rumeli Hisari built by Sultan Mehmet the Conquerer (around 1452) in order to control commercial and military traffic along the strait in preparation for the siege of Constantinople.  He conquered the capital a few months after it was completed and since then the barracks has served various purposes - a barracks, a prison and finally an open-air theatre.

 

The Bosphorus is a very busy water highway with boats of all shapes and sizes going through it, huge container ships and tankers as well as small local fishing boats and the many ferries that go back and forth.  Around 48,000 ships pass through this strait annually, three times denser than the Suez Canal traffic and four times denser than the Panama Canal.

Bosphorus is a very busy waterway with many ships and oil tankers going through it, as well as local fishing and ferries go to the Asian side back and forth. Around 48.000 ships pass through this strait annually, three times denser than the Suez Canal traffic and four times denser than the Panama Canal. Approximately 55 million tones of oil are shipped through the strait each year. - See more at: http://www.greatistanbul.com/bosphorus.html#sthash.uyU68i3I.dpuf
Bosphorus is a very busy waterway with many ships and oil tankers going through it, as well as local fishing and ferries go to the Asian side back and forth. Around 48.000 ships pass through this strait annually, three times denser than the Suez Canal traffic and four times denser than the Panama Canal. Approximately 55 million tones of oil are shipped through the strait each year. - See more at: http://www.greatistanbul.com/bosphorus.html#sthash.uyU68i3I.dpuf

A new bridge, is inching out from each side of the strait, the Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge.  It is 60 metres (200 feet) wide with eight traffic lanes and two rail lines.  It will stretch over 2 kilometers with about 1.5 kilometers over water, and will be the longest suspension bridge in the world carrying a rail system. 




When we reached the end of the strait, passengers on the boat tour were given the choice and staying on the boat and venturing into the Black Sea for a swim (with a warning that the water was very cold) or going ashore at the quaint fishing village of Anadolu Kavağı, the last port before the Black Sea.

We chose to stroll around the village.  I'm so glad we did because here we had an interchange with two shop owners that touched me so deeply I will never forget it.

Next time.

14 comments:

  1. Oooh I want to go!
    The photos reflect all I've heard about this area. As one who comes from a country with a lot of wide open space and cities that are known for their green spaces, it always amazes me how city dwellers in places like you've shown are able to live so closely packed yet keep everything running so smoothly.

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  2. ouch, 40 deg celsius! I find it hard having the temperatures in the 30s here.

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  3. I have wanted to visit for so long and almost went a while back but lost my courage because of the group we would be with. Maybe the future...or maybe! I notice that the women do not get to swim and cool off, such a gender biased culture.

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  4. Thank you so much for sharing your travels! It's a mini break to my busy day.

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  5. I would never had thought this such a beautiful modern city.

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  6. Well it's been a while coming but that really was a post worth waiting for.

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  7. these are beautiful Pauline. That railroad bridge will be spectacular when finished.

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  8. You have made a beautiful place look wonderful. The harsh light doesn't make this an easy job.

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  9. Another fascinating, interesting post with wonderful photos to match.

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  11. That looks like a great trip you did I'm guessing it was before the Turkey started getting problems with the terrorists. The buildings are beautiful.
    PS You have a spam comment above

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  12. Great place to visit but the weather is rather hot. Beautiful photos. I am following you and invite you to follow me too. Thank you.

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  13. Decades ago John and I saw these same sights. What a trip! How cool to go to Istanbul these days; hopefully there were no worries of violence and unrest while you were there.

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