Şanslı Bir Gün

There's no more beautiful way to break in a pair of new shoes than to walk a few hours the length of the Bosphorus. After work on Thursday, I walked the stretch from Rumeli Hisar castle to Kabataş and later to Çukurcuma for a friend's art show. The air was icy and I hadn't planned on walking the whole way, but was driven by the hope of seeing dolphins in the Bosphorus.

By the second bridge, floated a boat that was a local karabatak hangout. They swam and sat on the boat to dry their wings. One stood on top of the restaurant, his wings stretched, chest puffed, and beak held high. He seemed to be asserting his dominion over this stretch of water or reenacting a scene from Titanic.

Along my walk, I came across an abandoned balloon shooting gallery. Some of it's multicolored targets were still standing and flapping in the constant wind, next to the shriveled remnants of the ones that had been hit. The effect was that of a cheerful smile with missing teeth- a clown after a bar fight. Big cargo ships glided by towards the bright silvery horizon. I passed Bebek with its high end cafes, well-dressed people, and smell of waffles, Arnavutköy with its loyal fishermen and gingerbread-like wooden houses, Kuruçeşme and Ortaköy, down the part of the walk towards Beşiktaş where the waterfront is blocked, and still no dolphins.

When I reached Beşiktaş, my feet were aching and I resolved to find a spot to rest and sit by the water. I made my way to the Kadıköy Iskele and smiled when I heard the romantic sway of brass music from two street musicians. Hopping over the wall and sitting facing the water, I thought that this would be the perfect place to wiggle my toes and take in the skyline and setting sun. In the distance, I noticed some forms jumping out of the water in unison and quickly one after the other. Dolphins! There were many of them and they were putting on quite a show. The music dipped in nostalgia, the sun bathing the sky in rose-colored light, and the playful dolphins all felt like a gift- a lucky end to the day.
Karabatak, reigning over his domain

Abandoned shooting gallery

Into the sunset


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