Bosphorus Strait to Macar Bay
Yesterday, I took an excursion from Eminönü to Anadolu Kavağı, a small seaside village on Macar Bay at the entrance to the Black Sea. It was a mesmerizing day enjoying astonishing views of Istanbul and the Bosphorus Strait!
Even with sunscreen, I got sunburned. The ferry departed Eminönü dock at 10:30 and returned at 5:30 – we had less than 100 passengers, a mere handful on the huge ferry-boat. The trip cost 25 Turkish Lira ($7). In a few hours, the weather changed from partly cloudy to overcast to clear and back again.
Including stops to pick up passengers, it took about two hours to get to Anadolu Kavağı. Before the trip I was getting bridges, mosques, and palaces mixed up – now, I’m more confused. From the Bosphorus you can spot landmarks, districts, and neighborhoods – Sultanahmet, Fatih, Ortaköy, Kanlıca, Beşiktaş, Karaköy, Üsküdar, Arnavutköy – and more, all with long difficult to pronounce Turkish names. It’s beautiful! I lost count of the bridges we passed connecting Istanbul’s Asian and European sides.
Yoros Castle and Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge
The boat docked at Anadolu Kavağı for several hours, allowing passengers time to enjoy lunch at a seaside restaurant, take a walk, drink cay in a tea garden, or climb up to the ruins of Byzantine Yoros Castle. With a local fisherman’s help, I found a beautiful, less-traveled shortcut to the castle. At the vista point, I gasped at incredible panoramic views of the Black Sea, Bosphorus, and Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge!
The Byzantines built Yoros Castle Fortress in 1190 to protect Turkish Straits from invaders. The straits are a “unique system of waterways,” consisting of Istanbul’s Bosphorus, Çanakkale Straits (aka Dardanelles), and the Sea of Marmara connecting the Black and Mediterranean Seas.
Meeting of Two Seas – Marmara and Black
Anadolu Kavağı is like “a gate opening from the Marmara to the Black Sea”. After a climb to the castle, the reward is nature’s spectacular treat – unforgettable views of “green turning blue” when the Sea of Marmara meets the Black Sea!