05-May-2007 -- The Confluence Point between Asia and Europe
On our last day of the May-Day holiday, we had a 24-hour stop over in Istanbul after visiting one of the Yip-Bannicq members - Marika - in Greece. We stayed in a little hotel in the Sultanahmet District of old Istanbul, right below the famous Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia. From the hotel window we had a good view of the southern entrance of the Bosphorus strait, and 41N 29E lies exactly 1.7 km east from our hotel room, closer to the Asian shore of the strait.
Our flight to Beijing was not until late evening but we had planned to visit a number of major historic sights of Istanbul, so we made visiting the Confluence Point the first thing of the day, and we started off at 6 a.m. We walked through a good part of the residential area of Sultanahmet and reached the road (Kennedy Caddesi) which follows the coast line. We found a little harbor with about 20 tiny fishing boats moored there. Most of the boats were empty, but one just returned and the owner was busy tying it up. With the help of a young fellow who spoke some English we were able to arrange a ride for a reasonable fee. From this little harbor, the straight line distance to the Confluence Point was about 2.1 km.
We were very fortunate to have a beautiful sunny day with absolutely no wind which made the ride in this tiny boat most pleasant. It took about 20 minutes to reach within the 100-meters range of the Confluence Point, and we spend about 10 minutes trying to get a reading close to all zeros but the best we managed to do was about 50 meters. For some reason, this little fishing boat could not turn quickly, and our GPS was also not behaving as responsively as other models we have used.
On the return trip we were able to enjoy the wonderful view of the major structures on the hillside of old Istanbul – the famous mosques and the Topkapı Palace. We reached the little harbor by 7.30 a.m., and still got the whole day ahead of us to explore the wonderful city.
As noted by previous visitors, this is a rather remarkable Confluence Point. It is located between two continents, in the middle of one of the most strategic waterways in the world, and in the heart of one of the greatest cities in the world. The visit offered us terrific views of this famous city. It is a Confluence Point, we recommend to other avid Confluence Point hunters. The little fishing harbor at the southern end of Sultanahmet, across the road from the Kumkapı train station where we started the water portion of the trip, is probably the best launching point.
Rating of this hunt:
Degree of Challenge: 1 – a pleasant walk in the oldest neighborhood of Istanbul and a pleasant boat ride on a million dollar day (1= very easy - drive to the point; to 5= a death march – glad it is over)
Scenery: 4 – special panorama view of Istanbul, especially the famous structures of the Sultanahmet (Scale: 1= not interesting at all; 5= take your breath away)
Culture-social factors: 5 – One of the oldest cities in the world and the crossroad of Asia and Europe (Scale: 1=dull; 5= most stimulating)