Great day today! We took a cruise down the Bosphorus as far as Anatolu Kavagi. The cost was 25 TL (about $6 CDN) for the return trip. The ferry boat criss-crossed the Bosphorus from the European to the Asian side and we were able to see many sites that we wouldn’t have been able to access by bus/tram. Nothing really major, but it was a great trip and a relaxing, sunny day. In Anatolu Kavagi, we climbed the hill to the ruins of a castle; not notworthy in itself, but the view from the top was amazing. We could see the Bosphorus on one side and the Black Sea on the other, with the new bridge spanning the water. The Yavuz Sultan Selim bridge is the world’s widest suspension bridge, as of 2016. Along the trip we saw the Rumeli Fortress - very exciting as Heather lived right behind it when she was first in Turkey.
Anatolu Kavagi is known for its fish restaurants - and our battered mussels and shrimp done I don’t know how were both superb. The cruise left Emenonu station at 10:35 and returned about 4:30 pm. It was like taking the vaporetto ride down the Grand Canal in Venice. Going and coming we sat with an Australian couple, which was fun.
We leave Istanbul tomorrow so maybe it’s time for some comments about Turkey, after our vast experience of 4 or 5 days.
1. Fabulously friendly people.
2. The sweets are divine!
3. Lots of cats and dogs, mostly cats. Not scruffy and not feral. Just friendly, well-cared for pussy cats but they are everywhere. And never, ever saw any cat or dog poo so someone cleans up after them.
4. The weather was glorious - much nicer than we expected. 24ish in the daytime and by 8 pm still probably 20ish and short-sleeve weather.
5. The ice cream was yummy. Somehow quite different but yummy.
6. Transportation around the city is efficient, easy to figure out and inexpensive.
7. The Museum cards are a great buy. We bought the Turkey-wide card and will save quite a bit of money by using it.
8. History, history, history. Should this be at the top?? LOTS to see.
9. So far, language has been a non-issue. Sign posts are in Turkish and English, as are historical signs, text panels in all the museums and sites. They just make it very easy to visit.
10. The food is wonderful.
11. It’s relatively inexpensive.
12. It’s clean. Very little litter anywhere. Sidewalks are washed and squeegeed in the mornings.
13. It seems exotic - to a Canadian anyway.
14. Lots of public washrooms that are clean.
15. All the other tourists we’ve met have been enjoying themselves too!