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Turkey: Istanbul – Adventurous Vacation IV

Published: 17.8.2014
Now we go downhill to the harbor. We embark a ferry and choose a bench on the upper deck. Soon the ship set sail. The name Bosporus means Cow ford. According the legend, there live beautiful princess Io in ancient Greece.

God Zeus, unfaithful husband of Hera, courted this beauty. However, his wife found out. She found him and her together but Zeus promptly transformed the nymph into cow. He said that he didn’t do anything wrong, he just wanted some milk. That’s why bright Hera asked Zeus to give her the cow. Then she let a hundred-eyed cyclops Argus to guard the poor cow. However, Zeus didn’t let it be just like that. He sent cunning Hermes to distract Argus’ attention so the cow escaped. Hera, however, came up with another idea how to trouble the poor cow. She let gadfly to annoy it. Desperate cow then jumped to the waters of the Bosporus to get rid of the gadfly. And that’s why the name Cow ford. Later Zeus changed the cow back to beautiful Io. He had with her a beautiful baby girl Keroessa. Later, Keroessa had a son with Poseidon Byzas. Later Byzas founded the Byzantine Empire.

plavba Bosporem

Now back to our trip… First we sail under very low Galata Bridge . The guide tells us to bend our heads down to don’t get hit … funny… Later, we sail around the Maiden Tower. The prophecy had it that a beautiful daughter of the king was supposed to be bitten by a snake when she was 18 years old. Her loving parents put her into the tower. They also longed to take a good care of her so they sent her fruits in a basket that was then lifted up with a rope. In one of the baskets was a hidden snake. And the prophecy came true ,even though the parents did their best to save her from her fate …

plavba Bosporem

We just set sail from the Golden Horn , the ship turns left. We sail across the Bosporus to the Sultan Mehmed II the Conqueror Bridge. As if I heard his galloping horse that made the mighty Byzantine Empire thing of the past in 1453. On the 30 km long Istanbul coast of the Bosporus are located architectonic jewels. We sail around the Dolmabahce Palace, where sultans moved their residence in the 19th century. The opulence of this palace doesn’t show anything about the bad situation of the empire. The sultan wanted to close the gap between European powers and the Ottoman Empire that was in decay. It had been loosing its fortunes, and fame. The sultan resorted to loans from foreign banks.

plavba Bosporem

interier Dolmabahce palaceOriginally there stood summer palace of Sultan Ahmed I, a wooden 16th century structure. In 1843 Sultan Abdulmecid I intended to built this palace. He entrusted the design to Armenian architect Karabed Balyan and his son Nikolay. He combined here oriental and western style in remarkable way. The Dolmabahce Palace has 285 rooms, 43 halls, 280 vases, 58 chandeliers made of Bohemian, French, and English crystal glass. Inside there is a marvelous glass staircase in the shape of a horseshoe. The handrail is made of mahogany and brass. 14 tons of gold and 40 tons of silver were used on decorations. You can admire also silk 100 square meter carpet. 18 women worked on it for 4 years. Luxury enhance decorations from alabaster. In the same style is Hammam (Turkish spa), marble toalets, and many other works of art that are inside this beautiful marvel.

Dolmabahce palace 

To be continued...

Text/photo: Sylvie Halouzková

 



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