Friday, January 18, 2013

Once we were settled in the Seabird plane, the pilot took us up the Golden Horn a bit so he’d have enough runway for take-off.

He smoothly maneuvered the small plane around. Quickly, we found ourselves gazing down at the Golden Horn and Suleymaniye Mosque as we lifted off into the air.
The Suleymaniye Mosque in Istanbul as we flew by in the Seabird plane.
 The Old City of Istanbul flashed by us, and I was ready with our camera. As you can see from the photos below, we flew over the Blue Mosque, Ayasofya, Nuru Osmaniye Mosque and even a portion of the Grand Bazaar.
Flying over the Blue Mosque in Istanbul, October 2012.
Flying over the Ayasofya in Istanbul, October 2012.
I found it easiest to use the camera’s sports setting so I could take numerous photos in a row and worry about deleting them later. Some of them turned out a bit fuzzy, but overall I was happy with the photos documenting our first seaplane experience and capturing my favorite city on film.

On our return flight from the Turkish island of Bozcaada, we flew closer to the Asian side so we saw parts of Kadıköy, the Fenerbahçe Stadium, Haydarpaşa Train Station and the main Istanbul port.
Flying past the Haydarpaşa Train Station & Kadıköy Iskelesi in Istanbul.
Then, the pilot turned the plane toward the Golden Horn and we continued past the Galata Bridge, Galata Tower and the Beyoğlu neighborhood.
Aerial photo of the Golden Horn & Beyoğlu neighborhood in Istanbul.
Suddenly, the murky waters of the Golden Horn splashed under the plane, and we had landed. The landings were so smooth you really couldn’t tell you had landed except you heard the sound of the water.

Being in a small plane like this gives you a whole different perspective on Istanbul. You see the diverse contrast of old and new Istanbul merging together like some kind of giant puzzle. I was able to see my favorite historic sites as a whole rather than just pieces or the front façade at one time.

I hope you enjoy these aerial photos of Istanbul. Which photo is your favorite?

Next week: Exploring Beautiful Bozcaada  

Here's the main Istanbul port where boats are loaded and unloaded as well as the Bosphorus Bridge in the background.
Flying Seabird over the Fenerbahçe Stadium in Istanbul.
Another view of the Blue Mosque with the Marmara Sea in Istanbul.
Flying over the Nuru Osmaniye Camii and Grand Bazaar area in Istanbul.
Flying over the Galata Bridge and surrounding neighborhood in Istanbul.
An interesting overhead shot of the Galata Bridge from the Seabird plane in Istanbul.
Notice all the Turkish flags displayed to celebrate the bayram holiday in Istanbul.
The initial takeoff along the Golden Horn in the Seabird plane in Istanbul.

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Katharina said...

Omg these photos look amazing!!! So beautiful from above. Must have been an amazing feeling. I also love the red little flags spread all over the city:)

Where did you book this flight? Do they have a website? I want to do this too next time I'm there!


BacktoBodrum said...

The trip was worth it just for these photos. What a fantastic experience.

Anonymous said...

Yes, awesome.
I too would like Seabird details as my hubby and I would love to do this amazing trip next time we go to Istanbul.


Unknown said...

Realy Istanbul is very joyful city of the world.......nice place

istanbul old city tour

Erica (Irene) said...

What amazing photos....looks like a fantastic one in a life time adventure. Do they have a web site...for this ride.?????
Thanks for sharing your pictures....what a view. :-)

Sara Louise said...

WOW! What an incredible experience! Your photos captured it perfectly :)

The Bell-Russo Family said...

great photos. my favorite - the one of the Blue Mosque with the Marmara Sea in background.

Becky Russo

Joy said...

***Note: For readers who have asked for more info. The 2013 flying schedule is not published yet, but last year, the dates were June to late October. If you want to book a flight to Bozcaada like we did, click here -

Seabird Airlines

FYI, the customer service wasn't the greatest, and we needed help from our Turkish friend to complete our reservation.

Joy said...

@Katharina, definitely an amazing feeling! Highly recommend.

@BacktoBodrum, Erica (Irene), Sara Louise and Becky, thanks for your kind comments! My favorite photo also is the Blue Mosque with the Marmara Sea. However, I like the different perspective over Galata Bridge too.

jaz@octoberfarm said...

i love all of them. what a beautiful and mysterious looking place!

Julia said...

Fab photos and how great to take off and land along the Golden Horn. Loved being able to see Sultanahmet Camii from above.

Joy said...

@Joyce, thank you!

@Julia, one of those "Only in Istanbul" moments! :-)

Unknown said...

These are some amazing photos! It seems like a totally different experience to see all the mosques and city sights from above - you can see a lot of the structural detail that just cannot be appreciated on the ground. I would love to take my parents on this trip - do they do just tourist flights over the city or do you have to take a flight to a neighboring island? (Which wouldn't be a bad place to end up either)

Thanks for sharing Joy!

Joy said...

@Turklish, Thank you! It was an amazing experience. We were flying to Bozcaada for the bayram weekend. Seabird flies there as well as to Alacati.