Monday, July 30, 2012


When it's hot in Istanbul and you can't get out of the city, do as the locals do.

Dive, jump or simply swim in the cool waters of the Bosphorus strait - the large waterway that divides Europe from Asia.
This Turkish teenager perfectly posed for me as we walked by along the Bosphorus. 
The water certainly looks tempting enough as temperatures hover daily around 32 C/90 F. But I fear the jelly fish, the pollution and the strong currents.

Despite those worries, from as early as 6 a.m. to at least as late as 11 p.m., I've observed young and old men, trying to keep cool in the Bosphorus. Yesterday, we actually saw several older women and a couple young girls in the water too as we walked along the shore.
A nice dive into the Bosphorus.
Families, such as this one, watch as their children cool off in the Bosphorus.
Swimming in the Bosphorus definitely is a man's sport as indicated by the photos I took. At least, several hundred women competed in the 2012 Intercontinental Bosphorus Race we watched recently.

To that tune, I keep ribbing my husband to join the locals in the Bosphorus. "Look, that guy is probably in his 60s and he's swimming out there. You should do it too," I tell him.

I figure he should do it at least once while we live in Istanbul just to say he did it. There's no harm in that, right?

If you want to enjoy a long walk along the Bosphorus, I'd recommend walking from Ortaköy to Bebek; or from Bebek to the Rumeli Hisarı area. We've even walked farther all the way to Emirgan Korusu (Emirgan Park), but you need to be ambitious.
You'll also see plenty of fishermen along the Bosphorus.
A fishing line filled with the day's catch of small anchovy-like fish.
You'll find plenty of cafes, restaurants and stores to pop into as well as a couple of green areas where you can relax. Be sure to pop into TAPS Brewery like we always do in Bebek for a decent malt beer.

Just maybe you'll be tempted to jump into the Bosphorus like the locals too.
And if you get hungry on your Bosphorus stroll, you'll find plenty of street food carts selling corn on the cob, Turkish tea, sandwiches and sometimes even pop corn.

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11 comments:

adventuresinankara.com said...

Great shots Joy! Makes me want to come visit.

jaz@octoberfarm said...

so cool. i never go in water when i don't know what is under me but i might have to jump in the bosphorus!

Karen said...

The first time I saw the male-only group of swimmers along the Bosphorus, I asked my Turkish friend "are they gay? Why aren't there any women and girls?" He was surprised by my assumption but I still ask "where are the ladies?" Terrific photos and commentary, Joy.

Joy said...

@Terry, of course, you should come visit. ;-)

@Thanks Joyce! Hopefully, I'll get my husband to jump in the Bosphorus too. A Turkish friend said he would go with him...since he's a local. Hee...hee.

Joy said...

@Karen, LOL! Well, I didn't think that since I've been here so long now. ;-) I esp. would think you would see teenage girls fawning over the young men in their swim trunks. But maybe that's considered improper?

In the Midwest as as teenager & college student, my friends and I always went to any watering hole we would find - lakes, creeks & rivers - and tred to show off to the boys.

Julia said...

Oh wow, think we need to go and find us that TAPS brewery next time we're in Istanbul...and a walk along the Bosphorus doesn't sound too bad, either. :)

Joy said...

@Julia, definitely recommend TAPS Brewery! Will you be coming to Istanbul for the marathon again? I just signed up for the 8k and hubby is doing the 15k.

Alan said...

. . don't care how hot it gets I'm not tempted - seen what's swimming in there and some of it is alive!!

Erica (Irene) said...

Great shots you captured. I could never dive into that Bosphorus...it looks so deep and the waters are always so rough. ...... and the pollution.

London4Travelers said...

Great photo. It is pleasure to see when people have fun, relax and enjoy spending their time.

Joy said...

Thanks London4Travelers! I really love living here in Istanbul and try to enjoy it as much as I can.

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