Tuesday, July 04, 2006


Nicole and I awakened to this view from our hotel window: the sun rising over The Bosphorus or Bosporus, also known as Istanbul Strait. The world's narrowest strait used for international navigation, it connects the Black Sea with the Sea of Marmara (which is connected by the Dardanelles to the Aegean Sea, and thereby to the Mediterranean Sea). It is approximately 30 km long, with a maximum width of 3,700 metres at the northern entrance, and a minimum width of 700 metres between Kandilli and Aşiyan; and 750 metres between Anadoluhisarı and Rumelihisarı. The depth varies from 36 to 124 metres in midstream. The Bospohorus has a long history that is amazing, so if you're a history buff like I am, there is plenty to learn about.

We saw tankers and boats, and crusing ships coasting along the water. We also awoke to sounds of water, of sea gulls, and sounds of the call to prayer that happens 5 times a day. If you've never experienced being in a country that broadcasts singing to call Muslims to prayer, it is an amazing experience. The songs are Arabic prayers, the singers have amazing voices, and there's usually a concert of many calls to prayers from different mosques, who wait for seconds for their turn, so it's like there are echos. This goes on for maybe five to ten minutes. It was better than being awakened by an alarm clock. This is the other view from the hotel window, and tiled roofed homes were picturesque. Definite eye candy and a treat, given that we arrived so late, and couldn't see much in the night. This was worth the jet lag and the 16 hours of flying.