Monday, July 14, 2008

Bosphorus and magpie behaviour

The village I am staying in is very close to the Black Sea. We started Sunday with a stroll along the cliffs and between coves at 9am. The temperature was roughly 24 C. The day climbed to about 28/29C. The interesting thing about this place is seeing the number of ships lined up to get through the straits into the Bosphorus. Apparently on a windless day you can hear what the shipworkers are saying.

The Bosphorus is the strait that separates european Istanbul from asian Istanbul. The family and a neighbouring family did a day trip to Ortakoy (a seaside suburb) that has a jewelery market on Sundays. The market fills the side streets and ranges from tacky to truly beautiful. I also found a henna tattoo artist and am now the proud owner of a hand tattoo (temporarily).

The gang (all 14 of us) went on a 1 hour cruise of the Bosphorus which includes highlights from both sides of the strait. It is well worth the 6 ytl. One of the coolest things was these matching castles on either side of the strait. They previously had a chain linking them to patrol the strait and defend Istanbul.

Lunch was a chicken kebab (shwarma) from a street cafe under beach umbrellas. An excellent chance to soak up the local scene.

Following this we spent the afternoon (what was left of it lazing around. The plan is to continue doing the sights and generally walk around old town. If brave enough I'll venture into a turkish bath. I'm also told the nightlife here is excellent, so Roleni and I are scheming to go out to a nightclub on the Bosphorus for cocktails at sunset.

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