Bosphorous, Bosphorous, Bosphorous...
Trip Start Sep 21, 2010
13Trip End Oct 07, 2010
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Where I stayed
I occasionally throw in tips in the blog. Snagging a boat ride after a bender in Istanbul might be ill advised for the weak hearted. But not this crew! No sea sickness or excessive complaining by anyone! We ended up using a company called TDI, or something like that. While waiting for the boat in the blazing sun we were forced to listen to the "salesman" for the boat tours. Their sales pitch consisted of mumbling "Bosphorous, Bosphorous, Bosphorous..." over and over and over..
We traveled under several of the large bridges. The first was the Bosphorous Bridge that was the first bridge to connect Europe and Asia. It also changes lots of different colors at night. The other is Fatih Bridge. The are both huge suspension bridges. Along the way we passed many palaces, castles, fortresses, and mosques. The boat makes many stops on the way, and isn't only for sight seeing, but is also for locals to commute around the area.
We stopped in Anadolu Kavagi a small, and fishing town at the north end of the Bosphorous on the Asian side. We had grilled sole (fish), deep fried muscles, pide pizza and kabob with yogurt at a small semi-touristy restaurant. Americans totally under utilize yogurt by the way. Walking around afterwards we had lokums (donut holes are best comparison) and more Turkish ice cream, minus the Istanbul fanfare. Then, back on the boat for the long journey home, plus stops.
We walked near the New Mosque and spice market to a small old shop that specialized in Turkish Delight
Tanya, Carey and I all headed off to Cemberlitas Hemam, or Turkish Bath. Don't know if I can do this one justice with words. Our guide book assured us that we would be guided through this process, however I found it a bit confusing. For the guys, you get two tokens, one for the bath, and one for the oil message (if you pay a bit extra, and I would recommend this). It should be noted that Cemberlitas was built inthe 1500s and when you walk in, it is almost entirely made of marble. I headed upstairs and was instructed to "change" and handed a small Pestemal (a very thin towel). Then, I was pointed downstairs and headed into a huge, humid, and hot marble room with several men, and a large dodecagon (12 sided, I think) marble structure in the center. I stood there for a while next to a German fellow, and wondered if I was doing everything right. I had trouble telling the locals from the staff as we were all wearing the same outfit. Eventually I was directed to lay down on the dodecagon. I might have mentioned that I had a long night the evening prior and was bit dehydrated. So waiting was pretty brutal, and then it seems there was a bit of mix up as it seemed everyone was getting "bathed" before me
This was a great ending to the night as we trammed back to the Galata Tower and to our apartments for a solid nights rest. Tomorrow we will sight see for a bit, and then drive to Pamuakale to see Roman ruins and an ancient bathing pool.