Istanbul is famously split into a European and an Asian side by the Bosphorus strait. Somehow I convinced Leandra to take a 2 hour tour up the Bosphorus, and the views were great!
After pulling away from the Emınönü dock our boat made its way up the coast toward Ortakoy, where we stopped to pick up a few additional passengers. Quite a few hotels and terraced restaurants lined the Bosphorous along here, and I think we’d consider a night or two along this stretch on future trips.
The ferry gave us a great vantage point for the Ortaköy Mosque and Boğaziçi Köprüsü (the Bosphorous Bridge).
The ship continued toward the Asian coast for the trip up the Bosphorous. Many buildings are clustered along the waterway, from larger apartment complexes to villas.
As we approached the massive Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge we saw the Rumelihisarı, an old fortress, on the European side.
After the second bridge the boat turned around and began the trip back to Emınönü, this time staying closer to the European side. On the way back we saw dolphins playing in the wake of a massive freighter, and quite a few seagulls inspecting the boat for tourists offering (or not protecting) food. Toward the end we enjoyed nice views of Galata, and a beautifully backlit view of the minarets of old Istanbul as we pulled into port.