Cruising the Bosporus

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Middle East » Turkey
October 4th 2013
Published: October 1st 2017
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Geo: 40.6228, 27.6307

We awoke to find ourselves in the Sea of Marmara, which is either really redundant (Sea of SeaSea) or else comes from a fantasy novel. We slept in, then went for breakfast. Immediately afterwards, we went to the showroom to listen to the lecture on Sinop, It lecture was only okay. Not a lot of practical information, some wild swings of time, some bizarre phasing ("to say the least"😉, and strange pronunciations (Diogenes was pronounded, “Dee-oo-hen-ais” like it was a Spanish name). We still are not sure what there is to see in Sinop that we didn't learn from WikiTravels, and we learned more about local history from the Sinop site than we did from the lecture. But nevermind…

We were invited to the Mariner's Lunch (meant from returning guests, so we're not quite sure why we were invited), so we went to that. The trout was yummy. And we received a Delft tile each (of the Prinsendam, so we can do a few more cruises and then re-vamp our kitchen.

Soon after lunch, we went upstairs to the stern deck to watch our passage through the Bosporus. It was cold (cold, cold, cold) and windy. We wrapped blankets around ourselves and bundled up as much as possible. Around 1:30pm, the ship picked up the pilot and we approached Istanbul. From the sea, you can see numerous domes and minarets, some quite large, and it took a few minutes before we were able to distinguish Hagia Sophia from the Blue Mosque from the many other large-domed mosques about town. The ancient walls are also visible. Passing the old quarter, we moved beyond the port, where four or five large ships were at the piers. From this point on, the Bosporus narrows. The buildings on either side (but especially on the European side) look very first world and could be at almost any Mediterranean port around. It was overcast but sun came out periodically, which was nice, because it was otherwise so cold. We learned – from the scenic cruise information provided by the lecturer – about the “jollies” – need to look up the real name – which are the summer homes of the wealthy and about the nightclub on an island. He talked about other aspects briefly, most of which I had read before in other books. Still, it was a beautiful passage.

About 2:30pm, we dropped off our pilot and plunged into the Black Sea. It became rather instantly rolly, and I felt immediately queasy, which is very, very odd. I spent the rest of the evening in bed. Yikes – I hope this isn't another benefit of being perimenopausal. Paul had dinner alone (poor thing), and we watched a movie (or, rather, he watched a movie and I tried to rest).


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