Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Scenic cruising in Turkey

Friday, April 23, 2010 – at sea sailing through the Bosporus and Marmara Seas and the Dardenelles – National Turkish Day so all the homes had their red flags out on display – formal night

Foggy in the morning but as we began our commentary on the Bosporus; the fog dissipated and the sun came out. In some areas we were as close to shore as if you were on a river boat cruise and we enjoyed seeing the small towns and mosques. Had lunch with friends, stayed outside quite a while for the scenic cruising and enjoyed the day.

So we came from the Black Sea, through the Bosporus Strait, to the Sea of Marmara, through the Dardenelles Strait to the Aegean Sea. The Dardanelles Strait separates the European part of Turkey from the Asian part. There are several islands which have famous quarries of white marble.

Dardenelles: length – 38 miles; depth 300 feet, width 4 miles
Marmara: 4363 square miles
Bosporus: l8.5 miles long, 407 feet deep and 2460 feet wide

Just before dinner, we sailed past Istanbul. It has a spectacular skyline with minarets and the city wall on a sloped hill.

During dinner we sailed past the Gallipoli peninsular, which was a major battle for the Australians and New Zealanders during WWI. We saw the monuments erected in honor of the over 300,000 killed during that battle with the Turks.

The Gallipoli Campaign took place on the Gallipoli peninsula in Turkey from April 25, 1915 to January 9, 1916 during WWI. A joint British and French operation was mounted to capture the Ottoman capital of Constantinople (Istanbul today) and secure a sea route to Russia. The attempt failed, with heavy casualties on both sides. In Turkey, the battle is perceived as a defining moment in the history of the Turkish people – a final surge in the defense of the motherland as the centuries-old Ottoman Empire was crumbling. The struggle laid the foundation for the Turkish War of Independence and the Foundation of the Turkish Republic eight years later under Attaturk, himself a commander at Gallipoli.
Annabelle Lawson, a young English pianist, entertained us with fabulous playing. She has a remarkable sound and touch on the ivory keys.

“Life is what happens to us while we are making other plans.” – Thomas La Mance