22 June 2012

Bosphorus Cruise

Topkapi Palace
Everything we've read said that a Bosphorus cruise is a "must" when in Istanbul.    The question is - which one?   The guidebook referred to a cruise that actually stopped at a couple of villages, but even if we had have been able to find its departure point, the times didn't fit in with our itinerary.    So, this morning (Thursday) we just walked along the wharf, and - no problems - there were guys everywhere offering tours (all at the standard price of 20 TL).   But how to choose one?    The obvious questions were, how long would we have to wait and how long would we get for our money?    These questions having been answered to our satisfaction, we were duly loaded into a mini-bus and transferred a short distance to the departure point.    Our concern about accepting rides from strangers was somewhat lessened by the fact that the mini-bus was full of people from all over, including several locals.   
We all arrived at the departure wharf with our kidneys and wallets intact, and boarded the vessel.   
Cruise ships in port
We then realised that there were a number of other questions that ought to have formed part of our due diligence!    Luck had shined on us, because the boat was a reasonable size and it did have shelter from the sun.  The Turkish music wasn't too loud (and was turned off at prayer times).   It also met the 2 hour duration requirement,  but it wasn't quite as fast as some of the many other boats we saw.   But I think the majority probably only got to the 2nd suspension bridge, as we did.

Dolmabahce Palace

Up-market housing
It was indeed an interesting cruise:   there was a lot to see, including a a number of cruise ships in port,  a couple of palace-type buildings on the banks, several up-market hotels, lots of shipping of a variety of sizes and quite a lot of expensive-looking  housing, particularly on the Asian side.
There was quite a breeze, but our concerns about the water being rough didn't eventuate.
On our return, we took a taxi to the Chora museum with its many frescoes and mosaics, but it will be the subject of a future post.

We leave Istanbul tomorrow, so we now have our final packing to do as well as making transfer arrangements to get us to the airport.   Our experience of Istanbul traffic leads us to the view that one of the shuttle services may be preferable to a taxi!

No comments:

Post a Comment