Cruising the Bosphorus River | Istanbul, Turkey ~ A Photo Essay.[google1] When Beth and Brooke, of Brooke vs. the World, decided they wanted to take the Bosphorus River Cruise offered by Get Your Guide, I said, “sure, let’s do it” and then went back to the tedious task of cleaning out my email inbox. At one point, I think Beth read aloud the details of the tour, but, apparently, I wasn’t listening. So, I was a bit surprised (in a good way) when I found out at the start of our four hour adventure that the tour was actually broken into two parts: a trip to the famed spice market and then the river cruise. However, since we took took the tour on Turkey’s Republic Day–October 29–and the spice market was closed, we got the alternate tour, a guided bus journey through Istanbul before embarking on the two hour river cruise. Because we had already visited the spice market the day before, I was okay with our alternative tour. (If you are booking any Istanbul tour that involves the spice market, keep in mind that it is closed on Sunday and holidays.) As we traversed Old Istanbul around the Gold Horn Bay in our modern bus, we received a lot of information about the city, including historical details and fun facts. For instance, do you know how many people cross between Istanbul Asia into Istanbul Europe on a daily basis? Three million! Apparently, the Asian side is more residential, “cleaner and greener,” while the European area contains much of Istanbul’s historic attractions and is where a lot of commerce takes place. Istanbul is also the only city built on two continents, and guess what divides the continents? If you said the Bosphorus Strait, you would be 100 percent right! It stretches 20 miles from the Sea of Marmara to the Black Sea cutting Istanbul in half.
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Motoring up the Bosphorus revealed a side of Istanbul that I didn’t notice on land: it’s pretty dang hilly. In fact, according to our tour guide, there are seven major hills in Istanbul, each one playing its own role in the cityscape. On board, we bounced freely from the upper open-air deck to the much warmer lower enclosed deck taking photos and gawking at the scenery. Turkish flags, tiny to huge, were hung throughout the city to commemorate the holiday, adding splashes of red and white to an already colorful backdrop. The cruise starts just south of the Bosphorus Bridge (First Bosphorus Bridge) and takes a u-turn under the Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge (Second Bosphorus Bridge). Motoring under the magnificent suspension bridges is a treat within itself, but the city really out did itself by hanging gigantic Turkish flags from each bridge. Just like the bus tour, the river cruise is also narrated by your tour guide. The first part of the tour takes place along Istanbul Europe, while the second part (after the aforementioned u-turn) travels along the Asian side.
Know Before You Go
* Wind got you down? Wait until after the u-turn at the second bridge to avoid windy conditions in the open areas of the boat, because the boat starts heading downwind on its way back to port. * Sticker shock? You can buy drinks and snacks on board, but you will pay a higher price. Coffee was about $2.50 and a beer was $5. * Sea Sick? We didn’t have any issues with getting sea sick, and the river was pretty rough, but if you are prone to motion sickness you may want to take precautions. A Note From Beth: I loved this cruise. It was really relaxing and easy going and a nice way to learn about the city and see it from a different perspective. There’s just something nice about being on a boat that makes you slow down and enjoy life. Then there’s the photos – shooting on the boat was awesome. There were so many flags and other boats going by – it was definitely a romantic tour in that sense. It wasn’t just me feeling the vibe either – several couples cuddled and kissed on deck. If you like the look of these photos I want to point out I shot them with my new Lensbaby lens! I really fell in love with this lens in Turkey and the pictures always remind me of far off memories. I was actually given an entire kit from the good folks at Lensbaby and I’ll be giving a full review of it in an upcoming post and then I will also post a photo essay of Lensbaby shots around Europe so be sure to stay tuned. We want to also be sure to thank GetYourGuide.com for providing us with this awesome tour. If you’re headed to a new place be sure to check out what they have on offer for tours. We’ll be taking a few more with them in the upcoming days and will give a full report. Hope you like the photos! *Get the first glimpse of our new travel photos & posts! Subscribe by email and get new travel articles delivered straight to your inbox:
*Please remember all photos on this website, unless otherwise noted, are copyrighted and property of Beers and Beans Travel Website, Nariko’ s Nest Weddings & Bethany Salvon. Please do not use them without my permission. If you do want to use one of them please contact me first because I do love to share and I would be flattered. Thanks!