Bosphorus Cruise

September 24

Bosporus Cruise: we all trooped down to the ferry at Eminonu, embarking for the hour and a half cruise up the Bosporus, almost to the Black Sea. The water is a beautiful deep bluegreen, turquoise when churned by a propeller. Our ferry was loaded up with tourists from all parts, eager to take pictures at all points of interest.  This led to a certain amount of tipping when we passed the Dolmabahce Palace, a princess of a summer house, white and frilly and elegant, right along the water.  All along the coast, villas of enormous value if not size; it is not hard to see that they would go for millions of dollars.

Dolmabahce (Stuffed Garden) Palace

Beni,  Frish and the beautiful Bosphorus

Bosphorus Bridge

Villa on the Bosphorus

We passed the Rumeli Hisari, an old fortress crucial in the conquest of Constantinople in 1453; in two months, Mehmet II’s army rebuilt it, thus controlling the traffic up the Bosporus (the Ottomans already controlled the Asian side and its corresponding fortress). The Bosporus is relatively narrow, with steep wooded slopes.

Rumeli Hisari

We stopped but did not disembark, at villages along the water, exchanging passengers, while folks sitting at cafes enjoyed the same beautiful day.  At our destination, Yoros Kalesi, another fort, this one in ruins, we proceeded up the hill. Most walked, but Deene and I took a cab; I had a freak fall just as we got on the ferry, and whacked my knee, and did not want to risk further injury.  The others plodded up a steep road to reach our goal. But first, lunch, at the fish restaurant perched on the side of the hill. Delicious fish and a spectacular view.

Oops, no time for the ruin, back down the hill, to catch the ferry and cruise back down.  On the way, all kinds of ships heading to the Black Sea passed us.

Dinner with the 8 at a hip place in Galata, followed by our first concert at a jazz club near the tower. Percussionist Yinon Muallem, the Israeli cultural attache to Istanbul, and his fusion ensemble: ud, guitar, basss, ney and other woodwinds, and vocals. Tangential Fusion, and very good. Veronica, Larry and I enjoyed it in other states of consciousness.