Black Sea/Mediterranean 2007:
Day 7 - At Sea


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Black Sea/Mediterranean 2007: [Day 1 - Athens] [Day 2 - At Sea] [Day 3 - Istanbul] [Day 4 - Varna] [Day 5 - Odessa] [Day 6 - Sevastopol] [Day 7 - At Sea] [Day 8 - Kusadasi] [Day 9 - Rhodes] [Day 10 - Limassol] [Day 11 - Cairo] [Day 12 - At Sea] [Day 13 - Athens]

Tuesday, May 8: We started our day as usual, with Holland America's tasty breakfast buffet. Debbie always opted for cranberry juice, smoked salmon, and muesli with bananas, while Tom always had fruit, milk and apple juice. Our entree choices varied from day to day, such as pancakes or omelets, and we always had the delicious hash browns.
We packed up our backpack and parked ourselves on deck at the back of the boat, because today's highlight was cruising the Bosphorus Strait, Sea of Marmara, and the Dardanelles in reverse. Up ahead: the mouth of the Bosphorus.
One of the day's activities was the opportunity to earn a certificate stating that you had swum the Bosphorus. A few hardy souls came out to participate, but we just watched and cheered them on.
Here's the view of the back of the boat. Not a bad place to spend the day in the sun, huh?
Here's some sort of cool old fort to our left (the Asian side).
And here's the start of the Istanbul suburbs on our right (the European side). Note the large Turkish flag at the top of the hill.
Looking back, you have to admire the perfectly consistent wake that is precisely the width of the ship.
The homes along the shore are magnificent. The minarets of a mosque add to the lovely effect.
We weren't kidding about these homes. Impressive, aren't they?
We passed a number of oil tankers on our trip.
We passed under Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge again, causing rubbernecking among the traffic on the bridge.
Check out this building! Is it nine stories tall? Hard to tell, since it seems to have been built into the side of the hill.
Another cool old fort, complete with park and cemetery, also along the European side.
Back we went under the Bosphorus Bridge again. It is a surreal experience to be on a ship this large passing under a bridge this large.
Another cool building on the European side, with a business district in the distance.
Here's the Çırağan Palace Kempinsky Hotel where we had lunch four days earlier ...
... and here's a close up of it.
Next, we approached the older section of Istanbul.
Here's Topkapı Palace again ...
... and the Blue Mosque and Haghia Sophia.
Here's Haghia Sophia again ...
... and the Blue Mosque with its six minarets again. Istanbul has to be one of the most impressive cities to view by sea.
Another port city, another Maersk ship, this time the Maersk Barcelona.
It takes up a lot of courage to ask someone to photograph us, but with Istanbul as a backdrop, courage comes easily.
Here's one last parting shot.
Maersk! It's amazing how easily we are distracted when a Maersk ship comes along.
This time, it was the Maersk Ipanema.
As we headed into the Sea of Marmara, we treated ourselves to foofy drinks.
We went back to our room later in the afternoon and confirmed that we were, indeed, in the Sea of Marmara. The Bosphorus is at the top right of the screen, and the Dardanelles are just off screen beyond the bottom right.
We dressed for dinner (our second formal night) and headed back up on deck just in time to see the pilot come onboard to take us through the Dardanelles. We weren't the only interested onlookers.
Again, we got the courage to have someone take our picture, so you know there must be something interesting behind us.
It's Gallipoli again! We promised you on Day 2 that we'd get a better photo this time.
It's Tuesday. Yes, we know this is getting old. We stopped after the first week.
In our fancy clothes at dinner, we spotted some Maersk containers, but we don't think this was a Maersk ship, because we're getting good at determining what is Maersk blue and what is regular blue. You're looking at regular blue here.
It turns out that you can dress him up AND take him out!
Our evening towel animal was a pig, with the best towel snout we've ever seen on a towel.
Ah, the joys of having a starboard balcony. We enjoyed this pretty sunset ...

... and a silent cruise past the Çannakale Martyrs Memorial once more.

Day 8 >


Black Sea/Mediterranean 2007: [Day 1 - Athens] [Day 2 - At Sea] [Day 3 - Istanbul] [Day 4 - Varna] [Day 5 - Odessa] [Day 6 - Sevastopol] [Day 7 - At Sea] [Day 8 - Kusadasi] [Day 9 - Rhodes] [Day 10 - Limassol] [Day 11 - Cairo] [Day 12 - At Sea] [Day 13 - Athens]

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