27 Aug - 02 Sep 2004 Istanbul

Sea of Marmara
Republic of Turkey
Ataköy Marina +902125599560
SY "Kamu II" with her bow to the jetty and with two permanent stern moorings; very short finger pontoons.
TL 48 m (€ 27.-) per night.

Click below for a bird's-eye view of our marina berth:

Click here for a summary of this year's travels:
2004 Map

Passing Seraglio Point on port and sailing right into the Golden Horn (a historic inlet of the Bosphorus dividing the city of Istanbul and forming the superb natural harbour that has sheltered Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman and other ships for thousands of years) up to the 490-m long Galata Bridge, popping open a bottle of bubbly in the cockpit and happily celebrating our arrival at the northernmost and turning point of this year's cruising summer in the Med - against the background of ferry-boats which were pushing and manoeuvring crazily all about us, caiques which were chugging down the Golden Horn and a string of big liners which was moored along the waterfront.

Exploring Istanbul, the only city on earth where one can walk from Asia to Europe, or the other way around, and touring the Topkapi Palace (a UNESCO World Heritage Sight), the residence of Ottoman sultans for almost four centuries, from 1465 CE to 1853 CE, which contains a few of the most holy relics of the Muslim world such as the prophet Muhammed's old cloak and his sword (in mint condition).

Viewing the glorious, glittering mosaics in the Hagia Sophia, which was built in 527 - 565 CE by Emperor Justinian (probably with some handymen) as part of his effort to restore the greatness of the Roman Empire, and which was known as the greatest church in Christendom until the conquest in 1453 CE when Mehmet the Conqueror had turned it into a mosque, then it was deconsecrated as a museum by Atatürk in 1935 CE, and in 1991 CE the rights to hold religious services were granted once again and the call for prayer could once more be heard from its minarets.

Admiring the classic Ottoman design of the Sultan Ahmed Mosque aka Blue Mosque, built between 1609 CE and 1616 CE, during the rule of Ahmed I, and the more than 20,000 handmade blue ceramic Iznik tiles in more than fifty different tulip designs that line the walls.

Guarding our wallets carefully and losing ourselves amid the more than 58 covered streets and over 1,200 shops of the Kapali Carsi, the Grand Bazaar, one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world which attracts between 250,000 and 400,000 visitors daily.

Purchasing only one single pound of the original Turkish Delight out of all the ballyhooed exotic products like rabbit fat, gunpowder, pine gum, peach-pit powder, sesame seeds, sarsaparilla root, aloe, saffron, liquorice root, donkey's milk or any other of the many known and unknown folk remedies in the Mısır Çarşısı, the Spice Bazaar aka Egyptian Bazaar, in Eminönü.

Traversing the 19-nm long Bosphorus, aka the Istanbul Strait, on a zigzag course between the European part of Turkey (Thrace) and its Asian part (Anatolia) by means of the cheap public ferry and enjoying the great views onto the blue Black Sea from the Anadolu Fortress.

Drinking bitter-sweet Efes Pilsen for sundowners at Sanat Café on the Galata Bridge (a symbolic link between the traditional city of Istanbul proper, site of the imperial palace and principal religious and secular institutions of the empire, and the districts of Galata and Beyoğlu where a large proportion of the inhabitants were non-Muslims and where foreign merchants lived and worked) and eating grilled-fish sandwiches from the Bosphorus fishermen straight from their wobbling boats.

Konni & Matt: Paying US$ 20.- each for the full monty (including a broken rib for Matt) in Istanbul's finest historical hammam (Turkish bath), the Cağaloğlu Hamam, which was built from marble over three centuries ago.

Laundering for TL 7.500 m (US$ 5.40) per 4-kg load (washed and dried) at the marina laundry.

Refuelling with 100 litres of expensive Turkish diesel fuel for TL 1.62 m (€ 0.90) per litre from the fuel berth at Ataköy Marina.