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Published: September 2nd 2011
Toasting The View
We set off in very high spirits and with perfect weather.
One evening after school several of the new teachers took a boat tour of the Bosphorus. It started on the Asian side, by the second bridge. I have never been on a luxury boat cruise with catered aperitif and dinner before. It was lovely and the food was delicious. We cruised the Bosphorus for hours, eating, drinking and enjoying the views.
The boat started up the Asian side, towards the Black Sea. We didn’t go all the way up to the sea, but crossed over and headed south along the European shore, towards the Sea of Marmara. The Bosphorus is lined with mansions, historic and new. A traditional wooden home that borders the water is called a yalı (not yali). We watched cargo ships cruising up towards Bulgaria and loaded tankers coming down from Russia. There are hundreds of yachts in the Bosphorus, some are tour boats and some are private.
We passed lavish mansions, historic mosques, quaint neighborhoods with cafés along the water and the presidential palace. Late in the evening, after the sun had gone down and the city lights began to come on, we turned back north, still on the European side. The lights on the
I first read about yalıs in a book by Orhan Pamuk. They are every bit as cool as he made them sound.
bridges had come on and we were treated to a light show. Both bridges have colorful lights, but it’s the first bridge that has the really spectacular light show. There are plenty of companies that do day tours of the Bosphorus too, but I am glad we did the evening/night tour. The whole evening was beautiful.
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