Sunday, November 18, 2012

Friday on the Bosphorus

Friday, Nov. 15

The weather forecast was for a sunny day today, so we thought it would be a great day for a ferry trip on the Bosphorus Strait.

We took the tram down to the water, bought our round trip tickets, and waited for a few minutes for our ship to come in.

Here it is:

It was actually very comfy inside, although we didn't sit inside until the way back.

Here we are on the way up the Bosphorus:

Since we were too cheap to rent the audio guide, we really weren't sure what all the sites were along the way.  That was fine with us, we were just enjoying the sunshine and the scenery.

A large castle like complex on the Asian side, most likely from the Byzantine period:

There were some pretty impressive buildings:
The further we were from Istanbul the more private homes we saw along the water.  This one was pretty nice--I could live in a house like this!

Pretty houses all in a row:

After about 1 1/2 hours we were at the end of the strait.  As we approached the small village of Anadolu Kavagi, we spotted this castle way up on the hill.

Pulling into Anadolu Kavagi:

We had a 3 hour "lay-over" before our return ferry, and decided that we would see the castle first.  Did we climb up that big hill?  Yes we did--sitting right in the back seat of a cute little yellow taxi!   We decided to save our legs and pay for a cab, and we'd also beat most of the other tourists!  It worked, because we had the place to ourselves for 10 minutes or so.

A view from the top, looking out at the mouth of the Bosphorus and into the Black Sea:

Yoros Castle, settled by the Phoenicians and the Greeks prior to the Byzantine period, most likely late 11th century.

There's not a lot left of this big castle, and we couldn't go inside the walls as there is currently an active archeological dig.  The outside was pretty interesting, though:

Here we are:

On the tower right behind us I spotted these two carved stones:

We walked around the castle walls for about 1/2 hr and it was time to meet our taxi for the trip waaaay back down that hill.

He let us off at the beginning of the village, and we walked through the narrow little streets back to the waterfront.  By now we were ready for lunch, and chose a waterfront restaurant with outdoor seating.

We each ordered the fish combo lunch, which started with a nice large salad plate to share.  The vegies were fresh and delicious, but it needed a little dressing:

Next came our fried mussels.  We both really love mussels, but didn't care for them deep fried:

Our fish was next--served whole, head, eyeballs and all:

Did you know that fish eyeballs are considered a delicacy?  Here I am, getting ready to sample one:

We had a visitor during lunch, actually more than one!  This little fellow was pretty persistent:

After our lunch we roamed the streets some more, enjoying the pretty scenes:

As charming as this little village is, three hours is a long time to kill there!  We ended up sitting outside at a small local cafe, enjoying the sunshine and a cold beer.  It was great people-watching, too!

Soon it was time to board our ferry for the 1 1/2 hour return trip.  After our hectic pace the past few days, it was really nice to relax and watch the world go by.  I might have even snoozed a bit!

 Beautiful sunset pulling into Istanbul:

We took the tram back to our area, and on the way back to our apartment we made a couple of stops for dinner supplies--it's a dinner "in" night tonight!

We had stuffed baked tomatoes, which were just OK, not quite as tasty as they look:

We cooked up the manta (Turkish Ravioli) that we bought at lunch yesterday, and served it with pasta sauce and yogurt.  It was really good:

We also treated ourselves to dessert, David chose this dark chocolate tart, layered with nuts and crunchy cookies.  He really enjoyed it, but it was waaay to chocolatey for me!  My dessert was a bowl of rice pudding, good stuff!

It was yet another early to bed night for us--we have our alarm set for 3:50 am tomorrow--we have a 7 a.m. flight to Izmir to visit the ancient ruins of Ephesus.  It will be a long day, but I'm sure it will be worth it!

PS:  I didn't really eat that fish eyeball!  Gotcha, Bren!


  1. What a cool castle - would love to be part of the archeology dig crew. I think it would be so interesting. Did they tell you how old this castle is? The stone formation was really interesting. Be safe in Izmir. I was going to be pretty impressed if you really did eat that eyeball...... NOT!

  2. Before I read your PS...I was thinking FEED THAT EYEBALL TO THE CAT....

  3. So glad to hear you didn't eat the fish eyeball. i think it would have been a nice treat for your persistent lunch visitor. What a wonderful way to spend your day, enjoying sunshine and a cruise then the stroll around the village. Great pictures as always! Dinner looked vry tasty and I think I would have enjoyed David's chocolate dessert.

  4. OMG...that was my first comment...did you eat the eyeball? LOL You did get me Di! Another picture of you two in front of the castle...I like those...Food looked interesting. Not sure I would have eaten it...might have ordered a club sandwich. But the river side down the strait was awesome. I enjoyed the views....