A River of Change

A new view.

On the PierThe evidence of my hundreds of photographs, already taken in the past month, is proof that Istanbul is a city of experiences like none other. I do not have command of the English language well enough to be able to find perfect words to describe all of what I’m feeling when I walk down brick-paved hills so steep, when I squint to gaze upon the blue seas, when I taste salty olives and cheese on my lips, when I mournfully hear the prayer call or when I smell pungent, roasted meats. My senses are on fire. I have never felt so alive.

How can I adequately express in words the combination of influences on this great city? Christians. Jews. Muslims. Europe. Asia. Ottoman. Roman. Byzantium. How do you pick one book from a full library? How do you choose a favorite kitten from the litter? How do I decide what to share and what to keep? When I open my front door and step out into this marvelous energy, I step into a torrential downpour of possibilities . . .

One of my most enjoyable excursions has been hopping aboard a ferry, to cruise northward, along the Bosphorus River. This expansive river, about 30 km (18 miles) long, connects the Black Sea to the north and the Sea of Marmara to the south, which leads to the Aegean Sea, and then on to the Mediterranean. On the western bank is European Istanbul; on the eastern bank, Asian Istanbul. Two bridges and a multitude of ferries connect the east and the west here.  In the photo below you can see the two bridges. I live on the western, European side, just to the south of the southern-most bridge. There are a variety of ferry excursion companies and timetables to choose from. Our group chose a short, hour-long cruise, roundtrip from Ortakoy. This ride took us just north of the second bridge before turning around and traveling back toward home along the Asian side of the river. Multi-hour, long trips to the Black Sea, are also available, as well as evening twilight cruises, which I think would be terribly romantic! This hour long, luxurious ride cost $10 Turkish Lira, which is around $5 USD. Well worth that!

NASA Earth Observatory, Astronaut photograph ISS008-E-21752

NASA Earth Observatory,
Astronaut photograph ISS008-E-21752

As we cruised along the European side, the summer breeze catching my hair, I found myself drifting off in wonderings as we passed historical mansions and palaces, restaurants full of customers, fishing boats aplenty and residences one could only dream about. Along the river it is easy to spy fishermen. From my reading, I understand that the Bosphorus is a paradise for fish because of the different currents and varieties of depths of this great river. The fish migrate between the Black Sea and Marmara according to the season so meals with fresh fish are common here. (Click on the first photo below to see a slide show)

Time passed quickly and I wasn’t ready for the ferry to dock. This was a wonderful, and relaxing, way to enjoy views of the city. As I stepped off, I realized, again, that I’m not on vacation. I live here! I can go back and ride another cruise anytime. Thanks for reading. This week why not find a new way to experience your city?

Tagged , , , , ,

20 thoughts on “A River of Change

  1. Gloria Ball says:

    Amazing, Anita! Again, thank you for sharing.

  2. Lena V. Hobbs says:

    Anita, Thank you for sharing. I cannot write, I cannot believe that with all that has happened you are able to do so. Please get all the rest you can but absorb slowly, and follow your friends advice to come back another day. Know that you are loved. Mom .

  3. Shelley Woods says:

    Anita, so happy for you! All sounds amazing, including your time in CA with Sophia! I have not responded in a while, but I have been reading! Wishing you the best as you begin a new chapter. Your new students are blessed to have you as their teacher! Love & miss you.

    • Hey Shell-Bell. I am very happy to be doing what I’ve dreamed of doing for so long. It is quite a learning curve–much more than I ever anticipated, but I love being challenged. Come see me! I miss you.

  4. Traveling vicariously by your side is a joy…look forward to each week’s post.

  5. Linda Chambers says:

    I echo all others, thanks for sharing.

  6. Tiff says:

    You are such a gifted writer that I felt I was right there with you. Thanks for sharing…love you!

  7. Connie Kimble says:

    Enjoyed the read Anita. You inspired me to get back to it as well… maybe. 🙂

  8. Thank you for sharing your adventure with me.

  9. Linda says:

    After being in Istabul only weeks ago, I share your passion for this amazing city, which I hope to revisit. Your descriptions are eloquent and spot on. I am missing the wonderful feta, fabulous tomatoes and cukes, figs and dates mosaics and helpful people. And oh, those patterns and colors in mosaics.

  10. Wendy says:

    Thanks for sharing a peek at your new life! I’m glad that you’ll keep blogging so that I can explore vicariously. Best wishes in your first weeks of school….those kids are lucky to have you!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Lost in Lisbon

A Place for Musings



Reade and Write

Mystery Reviews and Recommendations by Amy M. Reade

Fetching A Toothpicker

Notes of a Trailing Spouse from Chennai to Lisbon and Beyond

Educator Voices

A place to share and celebrate how we are pushing the boundaries, shaking up the system and challenging the status quo!

sonya terborg

innovation. inspiration. education.

lisa cooreman: teaching artist

lisa cooreman: teaching artist

A year of reading the world

196 countries, countless stories...

Coffee in San Diego

Independent coffee houses we love

The Dallas Whisperer

Answering Questions About Dallas

schooled in love

Where home meets schooling.

Art Teacher in LA

Art lessons for teachers


Have a dose of what life is really like living here – from my single-handed destruction of the Turkish language, random arguments with random relatives about everything from apples to vaginas to learning the secrets to making the perfect içli köfte! Highs or lows this is my observations from the melting pot of crazy that is my life in Mersin.

Live In Inspiration

travel . lifestyle . inspire .

What's up, Turkey?

a blog about Turkish politics and society

Inside Out In Istanbul

Discover the everyday extraordinary of life in modern Istanbul.

Curious Souls Get Together

We meet to watch and discuss inspirational TED Talks !


Stories and photos about life and the world

%d bloggers like this: