Thursday's Child: Bosphorus Bridge, Turkey

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Ortakoy Mosque and the Bosphorus Bridge
Having the chance to visit more than one continent has been pretty great.  But having the chance to visit more than one continent in one morning was one of the coolest travel experiences we've had. With Istanbul being part of both Europe and Asia, we were able to do just that simply by driving across a bridge.
The Bosphorus Bridge
On our final day in Istanbul, we had a guide and driver so we could see the outskirts of the city.  After visiting the stunning Chora Museum, we went for a drive along the Bosphorus Strait and Sea of Marmara, both of which are part of the route that connects the Mediterranean and Black Seas. 

Fishing boats by the Bosphorus
We started in European Ortakoy, home of the stunning Ortakoy Mosque.  As we crossed the Bosphorus Bridge over the strait, we arrived in the Asian district of Beylerbeyi and enjoyed a beautiful view back across to Europe. 

According to Greek legend, when Jason was searching for the Golden Fleece, he was nearly killed by the mythical Clapping Rocks that guarded the Bosphorus and prevented sailors from making their way through the straits.  On the advice of a prophet, he made it through safely and thus was able to retrieve the fleece and bring it home.  I'm pleased to say that in the twenty-first century, it's much safer travelling those waters.


A view of Europe, from Asia
The great Turkish writer, Orhan Pamuk, has written about the national emotion of huzun and describes it as being a kind of collective melancholy that is almost spiritual in nature.  He speaks "of the old Bosphorus ferries moored to deserted stations in the middle of winter, ... of the children who play ball between the cars on cobblestoned streets; of the covered women who stand at remote bus stops clutching plastic shopping bags and speak to no one as they wait for the bus that never arrives".

- from Istanbul: Memories and a City, Orhan Pamuk


13 comments:

Valerie said...

The quote by Orhan Pamuk contains beautiful imagery - my mind can paint a picture of what he's describing. Love the photos too, especially the last one!

bakewithjill.com said...

Sounds like a fabulous final day in the city!

Paula Montenegro said...

The Bosphorus has some sort of romantic idea in my mind, though I´ve never been there. Thanks for the virtual journey through Turkey Beth!

Kathy said...

I love taking virtual tours of all the lovely places you have visited. Turkey seems like such an amazing place. So sad they are having so many problems. Gorgeous photos! Have a great weekend, Beth!

Laura Dembowski said...

The bridge and water are simply stunning. There are so many beautiful places in the world.

Guru Uru said...

This city never stops in its amazing cultural beauties :D

Cheers
Choc Chip Uru

grace said...

this place has such a unique and interesting look to it! i'm usually not drawn to any type of water (no, not even lakes)(and especially not swimming pools), but there's something about the seas here that appeals.

Patty Price said...

Very Cool! I like the view of Europe from Asia! I'm glad travel is safer today in many respects ;-) Thanks for the tour of a very interesting part of the world ;-)

Angie Schneider said...

You have been EVERYWHERE! When are you going to write your own tour guide, Beth?

Beth said...

That's so nice of you to say, Angie. I don't know if I'll ever publish a book about travel, but I'm hoping this can be a permanent family record of the places we've visited.

Amy said...

Two continent in a day? Lucky you. :) I would love to travel there someday. Thanks for sharing these gorgeous pictures.

yummychunklet said...

Wow. Impressive!

Needful Things said...

Love the quote by Orhan Pamuk. Being able to step into two continents on the same day is a pretty special feeling: I love that split in Istanbul between the old and new; Europe and Asia.

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