The poetic flow of the Bosphorus, Istanbul, Turkey

Later that morning in Venice, I set off for Torcello.  I took the vaporetto from the pier at San Zaccaria which, so often, called to mind the pier at Beşiktaş in Istanbul:  they so resemble each other because of the perpetual movement of boats.  Most of all, though, it was the seagulls.  One day, I encountered my Venetian seagull while walking next to the water on the Bosphorus.

Istanbul is not as good for solitary walks as Venice is – in my heart of hearts, the two cities have a mother-daughter relationship, but there are protected places in Istanbul where you can walk.  Late one afternoon I was at the Ҫirağan Palace. I left the cocktaiI party I had been invited to and descended the stairs into the gardens so that I could walk next to the water.  A seagull, standing on a post, kept looking my way, as if awaiting me.  I approached it and it stretched out its wings and soared upwards, flying high towards the Asian side of the Bosphorus.  It then executed a perfect arch and returned to the European shore without ever reducing speed, settling back on the post in the Sultan’s marble pier.

“Wow!” I thought to myself, and returned to the palace gardens.

The currents of the Bosphorus are quite dangerous, but I find their flow poetic.  They separate two continents.  On the other hand, the lagoon in Venice, just a dot on a world map, make me feel as if I am travelling to the ends of the Earth…

 An excerpt from the book MY VENICE

The Bosphorus seen from the Ҫirağan Palace in Istanbul, Turkey

The Bosphorus seen from the Ҫirağan Palace in Istanbul, Turkey

Barbara Athanassiadis