December 16, 2011

Turkey : Istanbul (part 3)

Continuation from here ... 

The hotel can arrange booking for some tours too. So before I went to sleep that night I booked a place on Bosphorus Cruise the next morning.

I woke up early then to maximize the day. Refreshed myself and I was out by 7.30am. I was expecting the morning rush to office by the locals but surprisingly it was quiet and a very relaxed morning. My cruise would only start at 9am so I just took my own sweet time walking around Sultanahmet area. 

While walking, my stomach made some noises as I haven't had my breakfast yet. Not many restaurants were opened in the morning but there's always McDonald's to the rescue. 

But I can eat McDonald's in KL anytime. So I walked to the nearest bakery and bought this.

This is Simit, a crispy and crunchy round bread with sesame seeds. Some people call it the Turkish bagel.

It's cheap too, only 75 kurus (less than 1 TL).

Done with my breakfast, I walked back to the hotel as the Bosphorus Cruise people would pick me up from there. After picking up some other people, we went to Eminonu dock. But to our dismay, it was so foggy that morning. FOL. We couldn't cancel the tour. Double FOL.

To delay some time hoping the fog would go away, we were driven to the nearby Pierre Loti hill. On a beautiful day, this hill is famous as you can catch the beautiful view of the Golden Horn and the old city while sipping the Turkish tea. 

There's actually a cable car to go up or down the hill but it wasn't functioning that day. haihh.. why so unlucky today.. -_-

After some time, the guide brought us down. It was STILL foggy but somehow they decided that the tour must go on.

So we started the cruise from the Golden Horn, an inlet of the Bosphorus. 

Galata bridge

See how foggy it was. Paid 30 Euro for the tour and this was the view I got. Huwaaa.....

We passed by Karakoy Cruise Port, where international ferries or star cruises carrying tourist groups from outside Turkey stop.

The Bosphorus is a 32km long strait connecting the Black Sea to the Sea of Marmara, that separates Europe from Asia. We didn't cover all 32km but we saw a lot of attractions and learned the history of them along the way.

#1 Galata Tower

The tower was built in 1348 and it is 62m high. Definitely a great place to have a wonderful view of the Golden Horn and the Bosphorus.

#2 Dolmabahce Palace


Built in the middle of 19th century, it has an impressive frontage on the Bosphorus. 

#3 Ortakoy Mosque

Built in 1854, it is situated at the waterside of the Ortakoy pier square, one of the most beautiful locations on the Bosphorus.

#4 The Bosphorus Bridge

Embracing the European and Asian continents, the bridge occupies a very remarkable place in Turkey's transportation network as it links the main arteries of Istanbul.

#5 Rumeli Fortress

Built around 1452 on the European shore in order to control commercial and military traffic in preparation for the siege of Constantinople. 

#6 Kucuksu Palace 

Built in the middle of 19th century, it was used as summer residence. 

#7 Beylerbeyi Palace

On the Asian side of the Bosphorus, this palace was also built in the 19th century as summer residence. 

#8 Maidens Tower

Also built to control the traffic of the ships on the strait, it was then rebuilt as a fortress during Byzantine times and now it houses a restaurant and a cafe.

Despite the foggy weather, the cruise was exciting. The view was very fascinating and I discovered some sites that I wanted to explore on foot.

The cruise I took didn't stop at any of the mentioned attractions, but some other cruise would stop at some of them especially the full day cruise. There's a lot of cruises available so you just have to choose whichever suitable to your budget and time. 

The tour ended at almost 1pm. I was supposed to meet Arina (remember her from this entry? ) after that but my phone's battery was dying. I was worried it would be dead before I met her. And it went dead just as I wanted to text her 'Where should we meet up?' Super bad luck day!


fatt said...

i suka gmbr bosphorus bridge from afar. fog tu buat gambar ni cantik...bridge ni mcm golden gate bridge sbb tower yg 4 segi tu...nice!

rara said...

fatt: hahahha dalam gambar nampak cantik ala2 mysterious gitu kan.. betul.. bridge tu macam golden gate..version rendah sikit.. hehe