Istanbul in Turkey is a city so badass that it couldn’t be contained within one puny continent. It was ruled by Greeks as Byzantium and Ottomans as Constantinople and now it’s ruled by Turks as Istanbul and it’s partly in Europe and partly in Asia. If Istanbul was a soap opera, it’d be an hour-long Christmas Day special*.
Like all great cities, water plays a prominent part of life in Istanbul. In fact, it’s fair to say that water plays a bigger part of life in Istanbul than in any other city in the world, mainly because the city is split by water, a patch of water called the Bosphorous Strait for those kinds of people who have lifetime passes to museums.
There are bridges over the water (thank you thousands of years of engineering!) and with them comes an obscene amount of road traffic (thank you thousands of years of engineering!) but the humble ferry is a useful form of transport for anyone in Turkey’s largest city (but not the capital, which is Ankara, presumably only to trick pub quiz teams the world over). And you see a lot from these ferries, and on the water in general. Forget the Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque and Grand Bazaar, the water is Istanbul’s must-see sight.
Or maybe I just like water and boats. There’s something about the breeze and the spray and the loud hum of engine that I can’t resist. If this whole travel blogging thing doesn’t work out, I’ll probably just become a pirate. Their whole buried treasure form of pension structure leaves a lot to be desired though.
Those who find themselves drawn to multi-continent cities might also check out Yekaterinburg in Russia or Panama City in, err, Panama.
(*Credit to @ohnorobot for that one.)