September 11th 2010
Our time in Turkey was relatively short, but we saw and learned a lot in that time. Our first stop was in Canakkale, it would have been an uneventful 1 night stop if it wasn’t for this…..Byron Hellespont Bicentenary Swim. This yearly race allows you to swim the 3 miles from Europe to Asia across the Dardanelles. I would like to say that it was a great day for a swim, but that would be a lie…….the winds were blowing between 20-30 knots , very choppy seas and a 4 knot current. The 4 knot current was the biggest problem, it pushed a majority of the participants way past the finish line, including myself, Sarah, Tea and John (with a snorkel no less). We made it to Asia, but about a quarter of a mile downstream of the finish line!
We were also lucky enough to be in Istanbul for some of the FIBA World Basketball Championship. The crew got tickets and went to watch the USA play Tunisia. The USA won that game and all the rest to win the gold a few weeks later.
We also had a private tour guide for one day in Istanbul. One day isn’t enough time to see everything in Istanbul, but we did as much as we could, including a tour of the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia and the Basilica Cistern. I highly recommend you click the links for the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia and the Basilica Cistern, as well as these;Ottoman Empire and the Byzantine Empire. Of all the cities I have traveled to in the world, Istanbul was the one with the most extensive history, I learned a lot! I suggest you read up on it from the above links and go check it out! My only travel advice while in Istanbul, watch out ………..the cab drivers will try to rip you off! And the city is full of street cats!