A Ferry Ride Down the Bosporus
I’m on a work trip this week and this evening I was looking at pictures from our family trip to Turkey, which was back during the 2009 Christmas Holidays. I’ve written a couple of posts about our time in Istanbul, which you can find here, here, here, and here.
Overall it was an incredible trip full or remarkable experiences, and one of the most remarkable was the day we took the ferry from Istanbul to Anadolu Kavagi at the far end of the Bosporus.
The Bosporus, as you may recall from 9th grade Social Studies, is a strait of water that connects the Black Sea with the Sea of Marmara and ultimately the Mediterranean. It also separates the continents of Europe and Asia.
We got on the ferry at the Eminonu station, in the heart of Istanbul.
We passed apartment blocks that were jumbled together as they climbed the steep hillsides.
For us, the public ferries were one of the highlights of Istanbul. They were reasonably cheap and comfortable, and constantly provided you with the most amazing views free of charge. They were full of a mix of locals and tourists.
The ferry stops had the informal, everyday feel of sea going subway stations, but in a good way.
Gradually the landscape became less congested as we got further from Istanbul.
There were some pretty fancy-looking homes right on the water.
We passed by the Fortress of Europe, built by the Ottomans in the 15th Century as part of their campaign to conquer Constantinople.
Looking back towards Istanbul, we saw the water spanned by the Ataturk Bridge.
The Bosporus is a bustling waterway, full of commercial ships.
Eventually we began to pass smaller towns, each with its own docks lined with fishing boats.
Finally we came to Anadolu Kavagi, lying under the gaze of a ruined 14th Century castle.
Once we got off the ferry we wanted to hike to the castle, and so we climbed the steep lanes of the town.
The higher we went, the more we could see of the Bosporus.
Finally we reached the massive fortification, known today as Yoros Castle.
The castle has been held at various times by Byzantines, Italians, and Ottomans. Here is a cross and Greek inscription left by the Byzantines.
It was windy up there.
From the castle we could see the mouth of the Black Sea, with Europe and Asia at either end.
By the time we got back to Istanbul, the lights were coming on in the New Mosque …
… and also on the Galata Bridge across the Golden Horn.
This was one of those trips that really gave us new perspective on the world: on history, culture, food, and religion. Our ferry ride down the Bosporus was one of the most memorable parts of the experience.