When it’s raining in Istanbul then its historic part Sultanahmet has a second, a drabber sight. Streams of cement-grey rain water break its way through the roads of Old Town while soaking the garbage thrown on the streets. Istanbul’s missing garbage cans caught not alone my eyes.
Bosporus took me by surprise though as this heavily frequented waterway at the bottom of a city of millions people showed a much better water quality than expected. The face of the sea appears clear; bluely shining the strait is making its way, meandering down from Marmara Sea to Black Sea.
A special experience is the boat ride from Europe to Asia. Starting point for the ferries going to Kadiköy is Eminönü near Galata Bridge. To pay the ride you can take the same chips you got to pay metro or tram transfers. At rush hour every ferry, so called Vapur, is jam-packed crowded with people who return from back home from work or who yet have to do some shopping. You can easily escape that dreariness if you bought some bread before.
Throwing a small bread crumb in the air is enough to give an uncompromising signal to the seagulls. Feeding the birds is something you can become hooked on. Mouth corners of the most people are going up when watching the flying artists dare-devilishly catching bread crumbs from the air. Not a word of a lie, you can spend hours while driving on a Vapur from East to West and back from Eminönü to Kadiköy. When reaching the Asian port you can see Haydarpasa train station, which is the starting point of all trains leaving to Anatolia and Syria. That’s the legendary Baghdad railway, which once was intended to offer stops even at Mecca and Medina.
A world in itself is the atmosphere short before sunset on board of a Vapur. Braving the elements the ferry makes it way through chobby sea while slipping through the gaps between the big container ships and oil tankers. On board of one of those ferries you can truly have the most amazing vista on Istanbul and its attractions Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia.