Boating on the Bosporus!

Posted on January 17th, 2012 by

After gazing out of our hotel balconies for days, today we were finally able to sail on the Bosporus. The body of water, which divides Europe from Asia, presented an unparalleled view of Istanbul. Although one of our classmates got sea sick (Cole was looking even more pale than usual), the faerie allowed us to view the first and second Bosporus bridges which garner 2 million Lira per day. The bridges are magnificent in themselves, especially during the night when it lights up the city. It is truly incredible that these bridges were able to be completed in three years, especially given the construction timeline of our very own Beck hall at Gustavus. In addition, our generous naval hosts presented us with traditional Turkish coffee and tea. The coast of the Bosporus is intriguing, as the price ranges of property are so high, that many properties go unclaimed and unused. This presents a clear duality between beautiful architecture and roaming grounds for stray dogs. Our ride also gave us a chance to see the ship of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, as well as the undergraduate university of our very own Professor Asli Ilgit. Asli also made sure to point out the island of her futbol team fan base (which was interesting even though it wasn’t BJK!). The landscapes were incredible as houses and buildings were built directly into the hills; many of which were covered in beautiful forestry. Our brilliant tour guide Ender was also able to give insight onto the construction of many of the surrounding areas.

The faerie ride also gave us a chance once again to connect with Professor Ilgit’s family, as we were accompanied by her parents, aunt, and cousin. Her parents have been like a host family to us, and have truly made us feel at home. Their welcoming presence made us feel like real Turks, and her father even granted me the nickname Hajji, which is an Arabic name which means “one who has completed the Hajj to Mecca” and an honorary Muslim. They have been our Turkish parents (as well as Asli’s!) and have even called me their son! I have joked with her father that I will have to move to Istanbul and work for him! Their kindness and added observations on the tour gave us a truly unique experience.

After the faerie, Asli, being the intuitive genius that she is, gave us some much needed rest and opportunities to read our Turkish novels. It also allowed some students to go shopping at the Grand Bazaar where we were able to practice our haggling skills. I personally got a Fez down from 10 Lira to 7 Lira and was darn proud of myself! Overall, the day was truly incredible and besides the sea sickness (sorry Cole) was another excellent educational experience about the wondrous city of Istanbul!



  1. Emily Persons says:

    Only on the Bosphorus can one refuse a ferry, and sail on the back of a winged magical creature.

  2. Asli Ilgit says:

    “Interesting even though it wasn’t BJK”??? Drew, clearly you missed the memo that your grade in this course depends on the Turkish soccer team you support…….

  3. Clark Kampfe says:


  4. Sandra Walker says:

    Asli, this seems to be a good place to insert that I purchased a Galatasaray hat and will be sporting it at the airport tomorrow… do I get an A?