Saturday, August 02, 2014

Day 1: We set sail!

Black Sea Navigation: BULGARIA: [Nesebar] [Varna] ROMANIA: [Constanţa]
TURKEY: [Sinop] [Bodrum] [Istanbul: Basilica Cistern] [Istanbul: Topkapi] [Istanbul: Haigha Sophia]
GREECE: [Limnos] [Meteora] [Thira] [Athens: Acropolis and Plaka] [Acropolis Museum Highlights]

Important Disclaimer: No sailing was actually undertaken on this particular expedition.

I had expected to have four companions with me as I disembarked for the first time in a majority-Muslim city.  Alas, the airlines treated them to an unexpected multi-stage adventure involving  regions and modes of transportation that were not on the original itinerary, leaving everyone on tenterhooks as to whether and when they would be able to catch up.   

My own travels went quite smoothly.  I'd booked a car in advance, and had a pleasant ride along a road hugging the old walls of Istanbul.  Houses and other buildings were set in and top the apparently crumbling and precarious walls.  It was aesthetically pleasing, and perhaps safer than it looked.  

I arrived at the passenger terminal and went through a passport check and security screening a few hours before they were ready to start processing passengers for the ship.  Gradually, other passengers arrived and also the personnel to process us.  So when the lines died down, I went through another passport screening and security check and went onboard.  

I settled in to a corner table on deck 8 and watched as the skies grew ever more ominous.  At one point, it looked like it might become a tornado.  

The moment quickly passed (that was the best photo I could get of the funnel-shape), but the skies opened up, chasing me further back under the awning.

a mixture of old and new

Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque

The Galata Tower

Look ma, I can zoom in on the people!

Dolmabahçe Mosque

Dolmabahçe Palace

An intrepid cruiser

Bosphorus Bridge

Sultanahmet district

Go, pilot, go!

Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge & Rumelian Castle

Rumelihisarı (also known as Rumelian Castle)

houses at the base of the bridge


Our motto!!
Black Sea Navigation: BULGARIA: [Nesebar] [Varna] ROMANIA: [Constanţa]
TURKEY: [Sinop] [Bodrum] [Istanbul: Basilica Cistern] [Istanbul: Topkapi] [Istanbul: Haigha Sophia]
GREECE: [Limnos] [Meteora] [Thira] [Athens: Acropolis and Plaka] [Acropolis Museum Highlights]

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