Monday, June 11, 2007

On to the Cruise

We are on our way to the ship. Thank you to the wonderful staff at the Hotel Niles for the great tips, funny maps and always making us laugh.

The Bosphorus Ferry

I’ve realized I don’t like to do the Japanese tourist thing of running from sight to sight, taking pictures and going on to the next. I have decided I like to sit in a spot. A lot happens when you sit in a spot. Today we took the Bosphorus Ferry, the government ferry not a private one (12 Turkish Lire r/t) where servers walk around selling tea, coffee and those delicious sesame breads. We got after an hour and 15 min. in Sariyer (before the end). After walking for about 30 minutes we went to a restaurant on the water for lunch. We had 3 hours before we could catch the ferry going back.

We chose the café with lower prices posted on the board outside. The place next door had table cloths and wine glasses on the tables and we were surprised when our host told us to go next door to select our fresh catch of the day. I asked if they were the same restaurants and our host said no, but to sit there is double the price for the same meal. People came and went and we watched the fishermen delivering their fish to the local restaurants. To our amusement many cats, one pregnant, attempted to steal the fish as they came in. The waiters alternated between chasing them away and throwing them the smaller fish on the side. The cats were occasionally successful in their attempts at thievery as well as getting those fish thrown to them on the sly.

This tour on the Bosphorus is not one to be missed. The palaces along the way, the beautiful homes with incredible views on both sides, living here must be nice.

Sunday Afternoon

We heard the thing to do here on a Sunday is to go Ortakoy. There is a “women’s market” and you must try the “jacket potato”. This is a baked potato topped with a mound of interesting toppings. The bazaar had mostly jewelry and a few crafts. This is really a beautiful spot on the Bosphorus that had a little mosque too. We sat at one of the cafes on the main square and 15 minutes later spotted my parents and uncles. We had planned to meet them on the cruise ship and this was quite a remarkable encounter considering how vast this city is. It is strange how things transpire here, the cab drivers can’t find the address we show them, people don’t understand us when we ask for directions, the streets are not clearly marked yet we always seem to end up right where we intended to go. Must be good karma. Needless to say, we had a great day together.