Tuesday, June 22, 2010

June 21st – Trekking The Bosphorous in Istanbul

Today we did a long walk up the Bosphrous to Ortokoy, a charming former seaside village full of timber-clad Ottoman houses with their overhanging balconies. The walk took us up the coast road, accompanied by thundering traffic and past a couple of Ottoman palaces, before we arrived in Ortokoy, with its array of trendy cafes and restaurants.

Although Ortokoy has long been gobbled up into Istanbul's sprawl, the centre still has a villagey feel to it, and on a balmy Sunday afternoon there was a real holiday atmosphere to the place. After lunch, we took a boat trip up the Bosphorous towards the Black Sea, passing yet more palaces, more timber clad historic villages (that wouldn't have looked out of place in New England), and the enormous waterside residences of Istanbul's rich and famous.

On the way back, Tracy invested in a UPF shirt that will give here lots of protection against the sun as we tour around all these shade-less ancient sites. Having mentioned this purchase to a couple of friends, they pointed out that surely all clothes give you protection against the sun (hence T-shirt suntans etc) – prompting her to get on the internet. It appears that a denim shirt gives you 1000 UPF, while this fairly expensive shirt gives her just 30 UPF – she should have gone to Primark.