Thursday, June 14, 2012

Cruising on the Bosphorus

It is a must to take the Bosphorus cruise while in Istanbul.  

The Bosphorus divides two continents and connects the Black Sea with the Sea of Marmara which connects with the Aegean Sea and out to the Mediterranean Sea.  A lot of seas surrounding Istanbul!  But the Bosphorus has always been of strategic and commercial importance as far back as 330 A.D. with the establishment of the city.

It was a great way to take in all of Istanbul's neighborhoods (Europe and Asia sides) which extend up the 18 miles to the Black Sea.

Most of the attractions were on the European side starting with the  
Dolmabahce Mosque 
built exclusively for the sultans.

 The 19th century Dolmabahce Palace complex 
lies next door with its centuries-old trees along the gate.

  A bit further down is the Four Seasons, formerly a state guest house.
Now that's the type of guest house I wouldn't mind staying in!

The Ciragan Palace was once an Ottoman residence but burned down in 1910.
Recently it was restored by a hotel chain.
Presidents Clinton and Bush have both been guests.

 On the Asian side, this impressive building named Kuleli was built in the 1800s as an army barracks.  Nowadays, it's a military high school.

Back on the European side lies the Rumeli Fortress, 
built before the conquest of Constantinople in 1453.

At one point in our 1.5 hour journey, we were escorted by
these sweet dolphins much to all of our delight! 
A nice critter fix for me!

As we neared the Black Sea, we could feel the cool temperature change as the breeze picked up.
You can see some navigation markers due to dangerous hidden rocks that make navigation 
difficult.  It all felt so foreboding!

We arrived at our destination of Anadolu Kavagi on the Asian side 
and spent a little time exploring and enjoying a nice lunch on the water. 
 I have no idea who that man is in
the reflection but I like the reflection of the opposite shore.

The town was small and lazy and I couldn't resist including some animal critters.  As I mentioned before, many animals are homeless but it seems that somehow they find food.

Lorena J. Asp, a professor and has a blog called NU Journalism Abroad 2011, writes:
"Most practicing Muslims do not keep dogs as pets because they are generally considered unclean. Also, Muslims – who make up 99 percent of the population in Turkey – believe that angels will not visit a home that contains a dog. And finally, according to Sunni tradition – which accounts for 85 percent of the Muslim world – the prophet Muhammad reportedly did not like dogs, so people of that culture generally stay away from taking them in as pets."

"Yet, Islam instructs its followers to take care of all creatures, and so many people feel compelled to offer a bit of food, and fresh water, to the strays that live around the city."

 But still, for this girl, it was hard seeing some of these homeless creatures!

This white cat below was the strangest looking cat I have ever seen.
He/she looked like a lion!  Look at that tail!
Now that's cat with attitude!

A number of dogs had an ear tag which indicated that they had been neutered and released.
What a sweet smile this pup gave us!

Some of the local kids had fun jumping off the large boats that were docked.
One even scaled up the side of our boat
and jumped off the 3rd story deck!  Yowza!

Nearby, some men were mending fishing nets.

And, of course, yours truly couldn't resist snapping her own reflection!

As we returned to Istanbul later in the day, this was the scene that greeted us.
The city is so overwhelming, that you almost have
to view it from a distance to take in all of its beauty!

 Another post or two and I'll be wrapping up our visit.

It's been fun sharing with you 
and helpful for me to document all the places we visited.
That's what makes blogging so cool ... better than a diary!

Later, my friends,


Ginny Hartzler said...

The last picture is wonderful, and I also love the men mending their nets in the boat. Their religious laws dealing with animals seem rather contradictory, don't they? The first palace is amazing. And those things beside it that look like they serve any purpose, can people get in them, or are they only for decorative architecture purposes?

Betty Manousos said...

looks like an interesting trip. i've never visited istanbul, but your wonderful photos just make me want to go there!

beautiful architecture photography, reena!


Kathy said...

Those were some might impressive buildings. They certainly build them big!

EG CameraGirl said...

Another city I would LOVE to visit! :)

Jill said...

What a beautiful place to be!

Brian Miller said...

oh wow so much to take in and see...the castles and fortress are so cool...the kids jumping off the boat...i might have gotten in with them...ha....

Sylvia K said...

Oh, yes, a city I would love to visit, too! I have so enjoyed your posts, Reena, the very next best thing to being there myself! I have to admit that I don't know that much about Istanbul so I have really enjoyed all you've shared with us! Fascinating place! Love the cat with an attitude and that happy, smiling doggie! Thanks again! Enjoy your weekend!


dona said...

I also was amazed by the beauty of Istanbul. I visited this town in the middle of winter, and one day, while I was there, it started snowing... Unforgettable! :)

Dianne said...

What an experience Reena to cruise between two very different worlds both with so much history. I think I'd like to spend a few days in that wonderful Cirigan Palace ... It's gorgeous.

Dianne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

What incredible architecture! Looks like you are having the vacation of a lifetime!

S. Etole said...

Such amazing color and architecture.

Ivanhoe said...

So beautiful! I could just cry about all the animals though :(
Love the last one!!!

Gail Dixon said...

The architecture is incredibly beautiful there. To think many were constructed before modern equipment just boggles the mind. Very impressive. Enjoyed tagging along with you!

Pat said...

What an incredibly beautiful place to visit! It would be difficult to see all the homeless animals.

Rose L said...

The mosque and fortress are so amazing!

Rohrerbot said...

Love your photo journal.....the dolphins, cats, buildings are all rather exotic....especially the color of that one cat walking towards the camera. Thanks for sharing!

zooperson said...

What color you manage to capture. That is true azur. Poor kitties and doggies, but mr lion man looks like he might do all right for himself. Thanks for letting us linger awhile over your superb photos. Looking forward to more.

Claudia said...

Gorgeous photos of a beautiful city! Oh, but my heart aches for those animals.


Daryl said...

the nearness of the hotels/palaces to the water reminds me of Venice .. and all those dogs and cats .. sigh .. I would have wanted to take them all home .. especially the white one that needed a bath/brushing so badly .. she/he reminds me of our Rose ..

My Mind's Eye said...

What a beautiful country....I did not know about there beliefs concerning animals. At least the are neutering and spaying
Do you have any information on how they handle/control disease with these particular rabies?
Madi and mom

Catherine said...

Gosh you are seeing some fantastic things. I love all that blue water. All those stray animals look like they could use a little love - so sweet!
xo Catherine

Dianne said...

the water is a wonderful foreground to all those amazing buildings
I loved the dolphins!! they seem so happy to see you

wonderful photos of an incredible trip

Anonymous said...

So beautiful. I really must get to Istanbul.

Roan said...

Wonderful series of shots. Beautiful area! Looks like you are having a blast!

julochka said...

i love istanbul. i'm reading orhan pamuk's museum of innocence and now this...i think i'd better book some tickets!

Unknown said...

WOW!! What great photo. I have enjoyed seeing your trip my friend.


Jennifer Richardson said...

such stunning looks to be a fairy tale.
Thanks for making storybook beauty
out of seeing real life
so very well,

Country Girl said...

Gorgeous photo journey. Incredible images. I will probably never get to travel like this and it's a joy seeing your photographs, Reena.

GailO said...

I am so thoroughly enjoying this trip to Istanbul!

Ross said...

Wow! Such great photos! It's as though I'm along on your trip with you. You do such a great job of explaining everything and everywhere you go. Looking forward to the next update!

Barbara said...

Thank you for sharing your trip with us! So interesting - I truly hope to visit one day!

eileeninmd said...

Reena, what an awesome trip. Istanbul is such an historic place to visit. The river and the buildings look beautiful. And the dolphins is one of my favorite shots. Thanks for sharing your cruise.

Pat Tillett said...

I've always heard that it was a fantastic place to visit! Someday, I hope to do just that.
Beautiful photos! Thanks for the background information also.