Mediterranean 2008 / 8 - Istanbul

After passing north up the Dardanelles we sailed across the Sea of Marmara and finally arrived in Istanbul. The challenge is to find a safe inexpensive place to leave Malua.


We found an ideal spot for our style of cruising. It is in a small swimming bay just at the mouth of the Yesilkoy harbour. The holding is good although there is not much room. I put two anchors down to restrict our swing and as a precaution. We take the RIB into the harbour and leave it along side a yacht. The train station is only ten minutes walk up the road through a rather upmarket suburb. We purchased an Akbil travel token which is like an Oyster card so we could ride all the public transport without paying each time. The trains are on their last legs, not full but do they rattle. The metro on the other hand is air conditioned, new and crowded. We criss crossed the city to get to the different sights and had a great time.

Images of the anchorage Yesilkoy

The different mosques are rather grand but dull compared to the catholic churches but used by the locals in great numbers. The Mullah's singing at the prayers is just wonderful. Looking someway like a Turk I walked into the prayer sessions and sat down (shoeless) so I have an opprtunity to hear them in full unamplified voice along with all the movement of the believers. An experience to rememeber.

The Topkapi Palace is also grand but not very well presented. The Topkapi dagger with its three emerald stones in the handle is just in a hole in the wall while the Spoonmaker's diamond is very poorly lit. The best pieces are without a doubt the Chinese porcelain especially the green, white and of cource the blue ming bowls. The best collection in the world they say. The archaelogical Museum leaves a lot to be desired but most of the best pieces are in someone else's possestion.

We visited a number of carpet shops who gave us a different spiel every time as to why they are better than the rest. One was married to a very Australian lady and their daughter came right out of Sydney until she started to try to sell you something and you realised that trading is in her blood. They were a bit put out when I told them my son worked for a carpet dealer in Canberra. Well we all agreed that the carpets were not of the quality they use to be and it is getting more difficult to get good value. The tea and orange juise is always good and we didn't purchase anything!

The trip up the Bosphorus is a must especially on the TDI (IDO) ferry 17.50YTL pier three at 10:35. One can get off at Anadolu Kavagi to walk up the hill to the Byzantine fortress and to look into the Black Sea. The Mussels and Calamari at the fish restaurants are very good. Having done the tour I dont think it now requires us to sail up the crowded, choppy and dirty waterway just to be in the Black Sea.

Images of Istanbul are at Istanbul

The below pages documents our trip in Turkey but we returned to Greece for the rest of the season. Follow here.