Today’s boat trip involved bouncing back and forth between Europe and Asia while heading northwards up the Bosphorus. After less than two hours – spent watching passing ships, seagulls, and the countless jellyfish in the waters beside the ferry – we found ourselves at the northernmost village on the Asian side.
The place was well populated with tourists, despite there being only one ferry per day which pauses between about noon and 3:00pm to allow people to see the place. As the motors began to warm up at three, you could see many people in restaurants with ocean views hurrying to settle bills and put on coats. A hill overlooking the Black Sea contains the ruins of at least two generations of fortresses, while the town itself contained both more cats and more assault rifle toting soldiers than anywhere else I have seen in Turkey. As we ate lunch at a roadside cafe, at least five canvas-topped trucks full of them rumbled by. Clearly, the northern entrance to such a strait remains strategic.
Both in spite of and on account of the ever-present haze that sharply reduces visibility around Istanbul, I have some photos that I am excited about from the crossings. In particular, swooping sea birds in front of misted freighters and the clean lines of the two intercontinental suspension bridges should be attractive. I am reaching the point (with 120 images on my memory card and one roll of film shot), where I begin to worry about unexpected data problems. I wish I had some mechanism for putting them online now, but carrying my six pound and worry-inducing laptop around Turkey wasn’t really a good option.
Tomorrow, it seems we will be making a twelve hour journey to either Ephesis or Capadoccia, though the final decision remains to me made. Personally, I am quıte sure that Ephesis would be amazing, but it seems likely to emulate other Mediterranean spots fairly closely. Capadoccia, I expect, would be more specific to Turkey. Forgive my spellings if they are incorrect; both of those above have hundreds of Google hits, but no Wikipedia pages.