“Turkey🇹🇷 Istanbul ~Just In Case You Missed It”

I’m a bit delayed in posting our stats on our Turkey visit, but the original plan was to return to Istanbul mid June, then travel to several other places around the country, THEN post the cumulative travel on all our Turkey adventures. BUT, it was not meant to be.

Today, I ended up canceling the rest of our travel schedule, through September 1st. We had a very exciting itinerary lined up, when we left Istanbul on March 12th. Greece was only to be our 1st stop in the EU, out of 12 countries.

Now, we will fondly look back on these days and say… “Honey, remember that time we flew to Greece for eight days, and ended up staying for five months?”

Anyway, back to Istanbul, Turkey 🇹🇷…we left luggage in storage there, so we will return to Istanbul to pick that up; just not sure not sure when, as that will require open borders.

Turkey 🇹🇷 

“Just In Case You Missed It”  

Year-To-Date; Completed Travel Stats…

Currently through: March 12, 2020

Total Miles Traveled to date:  89,650 Miles

Since November of 2018, when I began this record  keeping, we have traveled through 28 countries

For our 28th Stop:  ~Turkey 🇹🇷

We flew by plane from Hurghada, Egypt to Cairo to Istanbul, Turkey: 1030 miles 

Turkey 🇹🇷 ✅, To and thru: 2010 miles 

We traveled by way of: Plane ✈️, Taxi 🚕, Trams, Metro, boating and walking

List of Traveling Points: Istanbul, Turkey… our focus was all over this amazing city of Istanbul for this first trip to Turkey.

Backstory

We began (again) from LAX, California, USA 🇺🇸 November 2, 2018.  We were gone for another full-time year of travel, prior, but did not have an. official travel blog, yet. Now, we we have a new Travel Blog Website: 2 Gypsies In The Wind http://2gypsiesinthewind.com

Pen’s Facebook: Bunny Chronicles

 https://m.facebook.com/Bunny-Chronicles-100562418040250/

Daryl’s Facebook: World Traveler

https://m.facebook.com/worldtraveleronthego/

In addition, I have photos available for viewing, which go way far back in our world travel on my photo website:  Pics By Pen      

http://picsbypen.smugmug.com 

Since November of 2018:

   1. Vietnam 🇻🇳✅    12,906 Miles

   2. Cambodia 🇰🇭✅ 1,860 Miles

   3. Vietnam 🇻🇳✅ 870 Miles

   4. Malaysia, Borneo🇲🇾✅ 3,155 Miles

   5. Brunei 🇧🇳 ✅ 672 Miles

   6. Philippines 🇵🇭✅ 4,112 Miles

   7.  Papua N. Guinea🇵🇬✅ 7,478 Miles

   8. Philippines 🇵🇭✅ 4,112 Miles

   9. Taiwan 🇹🇼✅ 1,817 Miles

10. South Korea 🇰🇷 ✅ 3,516 Miles

11. Japan 🇯🇵✅ 1,866 Miles

12. Kazakhstan 🇰🇿✅

13. Kyrgyzstan 🇰🇬✅

14. Uzbekistan 🇺🇿✅

15. Tajikistan 🇹🇯✅

16. Turkmenistan 🇹🇲✅

“Five Stan Total” 6,355 Miles

17. Mongolia 🇲🇳✅ 4,854 Miles

18. Kazakhstan 🇰🇿✅ 3,851 Miles

19. UAE 🇦🇪✅ 2,147 Miles

20. India 🇮🇳✅ 9,742 Miles

 21. Sri Lanka 🇱🇰 ✅ 1,803 Miles

22. Thailand 🇹🇭 ✅  1,630 Miles

23. Indonesia 🇮🇩 ✅  1,750 Miles 

24. Singapore 🇸🇬 ✅ 1,231 Miles

25.  Uganda 🇺🇬 ✅ 6,574 Miles 

26. Ethiopia 🇪🇹 ✅ 4,054 Miles 

27.  Egypt 🇪🇬 ✅ 1,699 Miles

28.  Turkey 🇹🇷 ✅ 2,010 Miles

“Turkey 🇹🇷” ~The Basilica Cistern in Istanbul”

A short walk to the train, and then I crossed the waterway and looped through the streets to my destination.
I had seen this Basilica Cistern in the movie “The Da Vinci Code.” In the movie, they were having a concert in the cistern area; no way to have a concert and there, but that’s Hollywood. There is not a lot to see in real life, but I’m glad I went, the Medusa heads was very cool!

Afterwards, I looked up a follower from our blog. He sells carpets and is a tour guide near the Basilica. It was nice meeting him and talking. 

“Turkey 🇹🇷 ~Yoros Castle Ruins in Istanbul”

Our final stop in this fun day was to visit the Yoros Castle ruins. Though there is not much left of this once amazing stronghold by the sea, it captured our hearts. The scenery was stunning, and it was easy to imagine what “once was,” in regards to a beautiful castle that at one time thrived, as it kept watch over the sea.

To reach these castle grounds, we were now at least 45 minutes from the home base in Istanbul city, and in a less traveled area of the Bosphorus; being so high up on the hillside. As a precaution, we asked the taxi driver to standby for about 20 minutes while we explored the castle ruins. This communication was accomplished by the help of someone I spoke with, who did speak a bit of English, who the driver had called up on his phone. Yes, we paid extra for the taxi to stand-by, but it sure beat hitchhiking, back to the city, since the time was getting later, and we were definitely more remote.

It is the most beautiful, oldest and lesser know of all the castles of Istanbul.
Yoros castle was strategically placed near the entrance to the Black Sea. The Yoros Castle is on the top of a the hillside; up from the shores of the Bosphorus, where, in ancient times, was occupied by soldiers of the Turkish army.
The area of the castle was occupied before the Byzantine time by the Phoenicians and the Greek for trading and military purpose, but the exact build date of the castle is still a subject of studies.
Yoros Castle was intermittently occupied throughout the course of the Byzantine Empire. Under the Palaiologos dynasty, during the decline of the empire, Yoros Castle was well fortified. A massive chain was actually stretched across the Bosphorus; between this castle, and Remli castle on the opposite side, to prevent enemy warships from entering the Bosphorus. another chain was used in the same fashion, for the same reason, across the waters of Golden Horn, to defend Constantinople against the attacks of the Ottomans under Sultan Mehmet.
Within the military museum of Rumeli Castle, it is still possible to see a part of this chain that was used during these medieval times. We saw these chains, but did not know what they were used for, until much later. The size and mass of such chains were of enormous size, but no surprise, since they were used to block huge ships from entering.
The castle was the apple of discord between the Byzantines, Genoese, and Ottomans. For several years there was endless dispute. In 1305 it was conquered by Ottoman forces, then recaptured by the Byzantines. Then, Ottoman retained control of the castle from 1391 until 1414, when they lost it to the Genoese, who had built a great trade route on the Black Sea. The Genoese retained control of the castle for the next forty years, and this is the reason why Yoros castle is also known the Genoese Castle.
Finally, Mehmed the Conqueror took control of Constantinople in 1453, and drove the Genoese out.  He then fortified the walls, and constructed a customs office, quarantine, and check point; as well as placing a garrison of troops there.
The castle is now in ruins, with suffered neglect. The Council of Ministers had given permission for excavations in 2010, and at that time, an expert excavation team, o redeem by Professor Asnu Bilban Yalçın; a Byzantium art history expert, in collaboration with the Culture and Tourism Ministry and Istanbul University worked the grounds. During excavations, some 80 artifacts were unearthed.
Pretty as a postcard!
Looking north, towards the bridge, from the Fort, towards the direction of the passage between the Bosphorus and the Black Sea which merchant ships, at one time; loaded with goods, crossed, to reach Istanbul from the Asia.
At the exact same point, where the Bosphorus meets the Black Sea, and another narrow stretch of the Bosphorus, this spot is strategically important in the history of ancient Roman and Ottoman times.