Friday, May 15, 2015

Istanbul - a ferry ride up the Bosphorus

For my last full day in Turkey, I decided to go on the ferry ride up the Bosphorus to the Black Sea.

There will be a blog about my trip to Gallipoli the day before but it will take a bit more time to prepare since it will be a bit more complicated.

Most of the tour guides recommend the Sehir Hatlari ferry. You have a choice between a two hour or a six hour cruise and I opted for the latter which cost about $10.

I arrived about twenty minutes before departure but the prime seating positions on the port side of the boat were already taken.

Jelly fish.

This bloke was drawing buckets of water up and cleaning down the floor of a restaurant.

The Galata Bridge.

The boat set off on time. I was pleased to have such a nice day for the ride.

Each day there was a different cruise ship tied up at this wharf. This was a small one.

The Dolmabahçe Palace

A ferry stop. There were about ten of them along the way.

The Bosphorus Bridge. It is about a mile long and joins Europe and Asia.

It's a long way down but I supposed you get used to it.

The Rumeli Hisari. It was built in 1452 and guarded the narrowest part of the Bosphorus which is just half a mile wide here.

Underneath the Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge which is the second bridge to span the Bosphorus.

Not all the buildings are old.

Almost at the Black Sea.

Not every building is a palace.

The village of Rumeli Kavağı which is the last town on the European side. A few people got off here.

Another bridge being constructed at the entrance to the Black Sea. This is as close as the ferry gets to the Sea. 

Yorus Castle, guarding the northern end of the Bosphorus. I walked up there.

Plenty of seagulls.

There are quite a few restaurants at Anadolu Kavağı where the boat stops for three hours. The waiters at this restaurant line up and perform a routine with their arms to bring attention to the restaurant.

The ferry terminal.

More restaurants.

Most people explore a little and then head off to climb up to the castle.

I did the same but waited for a while before I started the climb.

The ferry tied up at the wharf.

This house needed some work. 

The bulldozer did not improve the general ambulance.

So I started to climb.

Restaurants line the path to the castle. They were not doing a brisk trade.

I noticed that many older people really struggled with the climb. Being trim, taught and terrific from my Lycean Way efforts, it was not too hard at all.

The Black Sea. The Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge will carry both car and train traffic.

Crowd at the top section of the castle.

View back south to Istanbul.

Castle walls.

I headed down to the town and ordered a cup of tea at a restaurant. Across the road, a cook gutted a fish to be served to a patron.

It was very quiet drinking my tea and there were only a couple of customers. I was glad to be under cover since the sun was strong but I did get some sunburn from the reflection from the water.

After the three hours, the boat headed south. This time I managed to secure a seat on the Asian side to enjoy the view.

There was surprisingly little boat traffic. In some ways the cruise up the Bosphorus reminded me of taking ferries on Sydney Harbour.

Naval facilities on the Asian side.

Küçüksu Kasrı, a former hunting lodge.

I was intrigued by this collection of similar houses.

I was puzzled by the lack of commercial shipping traffic in the strait. The strait is 31 km long and has a 7 to 8 knot tide. More about shipping and the dangers of navigating this strait here.

Suddenly, a number of ships started the northern journey up the Bosphorus. 

Near the end of the return journey. It is a pleasant trip and a very relaxing way to spend a final day in Turkey.

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