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x0x Tale of two continents told at sea

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    x0x Tale of two continents told at sea Tale of two continents told at sea By Jim Eagles Ortakoy Mosque, built by an Ottoman sultan, is a vision of wealth and
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 15, 2012
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      x0x Tale of two continents told at sea

      Tale of two continents told at sea


      By Jim Eagles


      Ortakoy Mosque, built by an Ottoman sultan, is a vision of wealth and power.


      IN less than a minute I had passed from Europe to Asia. There was no need for my passport to be stamped and no customs inspection ... though the driver did have to pay a small toll.

      To move from one continent to another we simply drove across the elegant 1075m-long Bosphorous Bridge while still remaining in Turkey. The land on either side of the narrow strip of water dividing Europe from Asia, and linking the Mediterranean with the Black Sea - comprising the Dardanelles, the Sea of Marmara and the Bosphorous - has throughout history been one of the most strategically important, and therefore highly prized, points in Eurasia.

      Mehmet Kayici, the archaeologist who guided me around Istanbul, said historians knew of no fewer than 48 attempts to conquer the area. One of the earliest saw Darius the Great, King of Persia, build a bridge of ships to take his forces across the narrow Mediterranean entrance, with the exploit commemorated in the name Dardanelles.

      And a more recent attempt involved Anzac troops who, among others, landed at Gallipoli in an ill-fated attempt to allow Royal Navy ships to pass through those straits to the Black Sea.

      Given all that history, it is hardly surprising that the shores of the Bosphorous, in particular, are lined with beautiful and historic buildings - mosques and palaces, watchtowers and castles - as well as the homes of the modern elite.

      You can explore that panorama by land or by sea, but preferably by both, which is what I did.


      Read the rest at http://www.frasercoastchronicle.com.au/story/2012/05/21/tale-two-continents-told-sea/

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