One of the cool things about Istanbul (or about Turkey for that matter) is that it straddles both the European and Asian continents. Thus far, with the exception of our flight landing in Asia, we’ve spent our time on the European side. However, during our time here in Istanbul we did a cruise along the Bosphorus Straight, the natural border between the two continents and had a chance to check out a little bit of the Asian side from the water.
Our cruise started off along the Golden Horn before turning into the Bosphorus Straight. The Golden Horn further divides the city into new and old and was the area that Byzantium (before it was known as Constantinople) was founded more than 25 centuries ago (around 600 BC).
It was quite cool riding up the Straight and seeing Asia on one side and Europe on the other. As the only sea route between the Black Sea and the Mediterranean, it’s this natural divide of the Bosphorus Straight that played a big role in Istanbul’s strategic position along the Silk Road.
From a population standpoint, more of Istanbul lives on the European side than on the Asian side (also called Anatolian). However, the rest of Turkey is another story as only about 5% is in Europe, the rest in Asia.
The cruise was relaxing (a few hours off our feet was nice!) and informative and the weather very pleasant. It was fun getting a chance to spend a few hours in between two continents! We’re looking forward to more time in Asia when we arrive in Cappadocia on Wednesday!
Knuffels en kussen,