Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Istanbul Diary: Bosphorus

No description of Istanbul is complete without a mention of the Bosphorus, the strait between the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara. I find it so fascinating that one part of Istanbul is in Europe and the other is in Asia and that the Bosphorus sits in between. Despite its waters being jammed with ships, oil tankers, local ferries and speed boats, the Bosphorus is endlessly endearing to Istanbullus and tourists alike. For the locals, it is wonderful escape from the stifling city life. For visitors, it offers a glimpse into the past of one of the most important trading centers in the world. A cruise along the Bosphorus is also a fantastic way to learn about the history and culture of the city as the entire course is dotted with Ottoman boat houses, mosques, grand palaces and gardens. I was lucky to experience a night cruise along the Bosphorus - there are very few things in life that are as romantic. I'm hooked to Istanbul!


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