Sunday, July 19, 2009

anadolu kavağı

Sometimes you find yourself in need of a little peace and quiet. You want to be near the sea, go on a hike and eat some good fish at a restaurant with netting on the ceiling. You want to stick your feet in the Bosphorus and watch little crabs scuttle under rocks for shade. Anadolu Kavağı is on the Asian side right across the Bosphorus from Sarıyer. It's a one and a half lira, fifteen minute ferry ride from Sarıyer's iskele, and well worth a visit.

Yoros kalesi, or Yoros Castle sits atop one of Anadolu Kavağı's high hills and overlooks the mouth of the Black Sea. This is one of the narrowest points along the Bosphorus, a strategic location fiercely fought over by the Genoese, Byzantines and Ottomans. Directly across the Bosphorus on the European side, stood another fortress, Rumeli Kavağı. If necessary, an enormous chain could be stretched across from one side to the other, stopping any unwelcome ships from entering the Bosphorus. There isn't a whole lot left to see of the fortress' structure, but one of the most stunning views in Istanbul is from the top of that hill. You're at the tip of Asia, with Europe in right front of you. There's the Bosphorous below, marked by the wakes of tankers, fishing vessels and speedboats. Seeing that foggy blue opening to the Black Sea is so... mysterious.

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