While in Istanbul, take time to take a ferry up the Bosporus. The 22 mile long Bosphorus is the only river in the world dividing 2 continents, Europe and Asia. Everybody from mythical Jason and the Argonauts, to the Crusaders, Greeks, Persians, Roman and the Ottoman empires have used the Bosphorus for trade and political power leveraging. Still today, the Bosphorus is a “super highway” of trade linking the Black Sea to the Mediterranean and Marmara Seas.
What is in store for you is an energetic, yet relaxing, ride enabling one to witness a glamorous world of by-gone years and modern day life. You’ll get an authentic feel on the public passenger ferry boats used daily as “water taxis” by the locals going from Asia to Europe for work. A fun game for the children is to try and count how many types of boats, yachts, fishing boats, tankers etc. you will see. It’s exciting being on a waterway that divides two continents.
Make sure your camera is loaded and ready to go as you will see amazing opulence of palace after palace. On the Southern shores, you’ll pass Topkapi Palace, Dolmabahce Palace, Ciragan Palace, the Selimiye Barracks ( where Florence Nightingale worked), the Bosphorus bridge itself and more. On the Northnern Bosphorus, you’ll see the Beylerbeyi Palaces, Mosques, one of the world largest suspension bridges, (the Bosphorus Bridge), the Rumeli Mighty Fortress of Europe and more.
This is where your guide is so valuable if you are on a tour. They know all the stories of intrigue and history that goes into a hot spot like the Golden Horn/Bosphorus area. You’ll get a real insight into the ancient lifestyle, philosophy and the blended culture of a place that has been occupied and educated by the Persian, Greek, Egyptian, Assyrian, and Ottoman cultures over the millenniums. (They are with you during the entire tour to truly answer all your questions with their amazing in-depth knowledge of history, archeology and of course, where to get the best souvenirs). They are full of insight as this is their country and they play host/hostess with the greatest ease.