Favorite thing: And where does all this fish come from? Well, Istanbul is surrounded by water - the Bosphorus, the Golden Horn, the Sea of Marmara, the Black Sea. Here are some fishermen in Beşiktaş. Beşiktaş which means cradle stone is located on the European side of the Bosphorus. Dolmabahçe Palace is located here. In the background you can see the Bosphorus Bridge which joins Asia and Europe together.
Another fishy favourite of mine was to buy a palamut sandwich straight from the boat.
On our last year in Istanbul these palamut sandwich boats had been turned into a bit of a tourist attraction and the salesmen dressed up in traditional Turkish clothes and fezes. In our earlier years they wore much more sensible blue overalls.
We normally bought our palamut sandwiches in Eminönü. The boats were near the ferry pier. The fishermen would deep fry the fish in boiling hot oil. Whenever a ferry left the pier, the boat would bob frantically up and down and the fishermen had to take care not to get scalded by the boiling oil. We would ask for bir tane yarim ekmek which means half a loaf sliced down the middle with the fried fish inside. Really, really tasty.
If you were feeling a bit more flush than having a fish sandwich, you might head up the European side of the Bosphorus to Sariyer which is famous for its fish restaurants. Be warned these restaurants are not cheap. We have eaten here, but we were fortunate enough to be taken as guests and therefore were not responsible for the bill.
Even if you don't eat in the restaurants here, they are worth seeing for their wonderful fishy displays.
The famous Bosphorus Bridge (Bogazici Köprüsü) is also called the First Bosphorus Bridge, as nowadays two suspension Bridges over the Bosphorus Strait exist.
Construction of the 1560 m long Bosphorous Bridge lasted 3,5 years and the inauguration took place on the 30th October 1970. At that time it was the longest suspension bridge outside of the USA. Since 2007 the bridge is illuminated by multicoloured LED lighting by night.
The bridge can be seen from many viewpoints in Istanbul’s city centre, one of the best is at the northern end of the Gülhane Park. I also enjoyed views of the bridge on a Bosphorus boat tour, but missed to drive over it by public bus.
The Bosphorus Bridge connects two continents: Ortaköy on the European side and Beylerbeyi on the Asian side of Istanbul.
The Bosphorus and the Dardanelles form the Turkish Straits, which connect the Black Sea with the Mediterranean Sea. The Bosphorus is known as narrowest strait in the world that is used for international navigation. The Bosphorous Straits are 17 miles long, with a narrowest width of just 0.38 miles (about 770 yards). Istanbul, with its population of some 11 million people, straddles the Bosphorus straits.
The Turkish Straits have long been a strategic choke point, both when Russian naval bases in the Black Sea could be blocked from the open ocean, and more recently with Russian oil flowing through the Bosphorus and Dardanelles.
Favorite thing: Probably the most popular ferry route on the Bosphorus is that from Eminonu to Uskudar (Sultanahmet to the Asian Side where most of the tourist attractions are located). The ferries are a good, fun and cheap way to see the different views of Istanbul.
The photo shows the opening where ship pass from the Bospheros to the Black Sea. The Black Sea is an inland sea bounded by Europe, Anatolia and the Caucasus and is ultimately connected to the Atlantic Ocean via the Mediterranean and Aegean Seas and various straits. The Bosporus strait connects it to the Sea of Marmara, and the strait of the Dardanelles connects it to the Aegean Sea region of the Mediterranean. These waters separate eastern Europe and western Asia. The Black Sea also connects to the Sea of Azov by the Strait of Kerch.
Important cities along the coast include (alphabetical order) : Batumi (121,806), Burgas (229,250),Constanþa (306,000 with a metropolitan area of 550,000), Giresun (90,034),Istanbul (11,372,613), Kerch (158,165), Kherson (358,000), Mangalia (41,153),Nãvodari (34,669), Novorossiysk (281,400), Odessa (1,001,000), Ordu (190,143), Poti (47,149), Rize (91,901), Samsun (439,000), Sevastopol (379,200), Sochi (328,809), Sukhumi (43,700), Trabzon (275,137), Varna (357,752), Yalta (80,552), and Zonguldak (104,276) .
Favorite thing: The Bosphorus is a strait, separating Europe from Anatolia or Asia Minor, and dividing the two halves of Istanbul. The name means 'ox passage'. I thoroughly recommend a boat trip across, or along, the channel.
Favorite thing: Colorful houses rise from the waterfront to greet you as you arrive at the final stop of the tour on the Asian side-- Anadolu Kavagi, a place of delicious fresh fish and an ancient hilltop castle overtaken by time and foliage, overlooking the meeting of the Bosporus and the Black Sea.
The Bosphorus (Bogazuci in turkish) - one of the most strategic waterways. The so called "Strait" is the connection between the "Black Sea" and the "Marmara Sea"
Also translated as " The Fort of the Cow" - the legend of IO - one of the jaleous lovers of Zeus
Fondest memory: The NHC convention
Favorite thing: the ferry ride through the bosphorus is the best way to see the most amazing natural attribute of Istanbul, the great strand of water that divides Europe from Asia. there is a ferry that leaves from Uskudar (south of the golden horn) and winds its way to Anadolu Kavagi at the mouth of the Black sea, stopping at many small local ports on the way so you get to check out many of the historic homes and buildings on either side of the Bosphorus. this should obviously be enjoyed in good weather but it can be pretty awsome even in the winter on those rare sunny days.
The cruise is an excellent way to see the palaces, the mosques and the old wooden yaldwellings along the shores. Definitely the best way to see Istanbul!
Fondest memory: The silence of the sea (even if the traffic on Bosphorus is quite busy!) comparred with the noisy town.
Favorite thing: Bosphorus bridge is a suspension bridge about 1560 metres long. It is connecting Europe and Asia, going between Ortaköy in Europe and Beylerbeyi in Asia. It was the first bridge built over the Bosphorus and the construction was finished in 1973.
Cruising the Boshorus is one of the great pleasures that Istanbul has to offer. It is also relatively inexpensive compared to visiting some of the attractions in Istanbul. For just $3.00 you can hop onto a boat and sail up the Bosphorus for about 1hour and 45 minutes, eat lunch and then head back down to Istanbul.
The highlight of the trip is seeing the beautiful 19th century mansions that line the banks of the Bosphorus. The wooden homes have been painted bright colours and are quite eye catching. Many are now being restored as part of a government promotion.
The one flaw with this excursion is that it is very popular with tourists, hence it is difficult to get a seat on the boat. Also heads keep bobing in and out of your shots.
To catch a boat up the Bosphorus, you go to dock at Eminoni just by the Galata Bridge. Boats depart at 10:35am, noon and 1:35pm. They go all the way up the Bosphorus to Anadolu Kavagi and then turn around. If you do not want to take the boat back, then you can take a local bus. This is recommended if you want to catch some of the interesting sites on the Bosphorus such as the Rumeli Hisan, the European Fortress. If I had to do this journey again, I would have done this as the castle looks quite interesting.
The next morning I had a look from our hotel room window..... beautiful view.... if only the weather had been a bit nicer, just a few sparks of sunshine....
I had been lucky to see Bosphorus in turquoise color brfore, I could imagine how it would look like in sunny weather from up there....