Under the Bosphorus

MusicianThis tile mosaic is just one of several in Istanbul’s new Marmaray metro system station that whisks passengers from Europe to Asia in just 3 minutes! After sipping a cup of chai in the beautiful Orient Express train terminus, I boarded the new metro with my friend. Our destination: Gezbe, some twenty miles south along the Asian side of Istanbul’s megalopolis.

Mosaic

The new metro has saved commuters the time of having to cross the Bosporous by ferry. A Turkish friend of mine who works in a hotel in Istanbul’s Sultanahmet tourist district said the new metro cuts his commute to and from work by an hour each way. Employees in this area often travel up to 3 hours to get to work using cars, buses, trams, trains, the metro and their own two feet.

The new Maramary is to be admired. I wish more public transportation were available in cities in  the US. When Istanbul finishes connecting up their metro with rail, they entire grid will be something to envy. Not that it isn’t already. I do, however, have a special love for the ferries and recommend them over the metro for anyone who is not in a hurry. The combination of sun, water, fresh air, gulls and the lovely rocking motion is a feast for the senses, along with a cup of steaming chai, especially on a chilly day. The views of the city at dusk, when a skyline of bridges, minarets, boats and ships light up, is breathtaking. Istanbul is a place like no other.