My (failed) Quest To Find The Perfect Sunrise

Those of you who follow me on facebook know that I’ve recently taken to posting a sunrise picture or two from my balcony every morning. (If you aren’t following me on facebook, feel free: This daily habit has had me thinking as I go about my day about other places that might make for good shots. Nearly a week back I was crossing the Galata Bridge when I noticed that I could probably get the perfect shot from the western side of this bridge of the sun peaking over the south side of the Bosphorus Bridge.

This sounded like a great idea until I realized the amount of work it would take for me to get there early enough. Currently the sun is rising right around 5:50 AM. From my house, to get to the Galata Bridge I would have to take a bus to the Marmaray, cross over to the European side and then walk about 2/3 a mile north (or take the tram 2 stops). There’s another problem. No busses stop anywhere near my house until almost 6AM. By then it would be far too late.

For almost two weeks the idea was dead in the water. Then, this morning those Ramadan drums woke me up (again) at about 2:15 AM. Instead of trying (and failing) to get back to sleep, I got up  and started my day. As I was going about my morning, I remembered what I had been thinking earlier and figured if it was going to happen, now was the time. So around 4:15 I left my house and started my trek.

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I reached this small park near Beylerbeyi Palace right around 5AM. This little park does have a bench that I call my sunset seat. If I happen to be on my way home around that time I will hop off the bus early and take advantage of the view it offers. Unfortunately, since it is a southwest facing park, it doesn’t offer the same opportunity to enjoy my mornings.

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After going under the tunnel, there are two parks on the west side of the Bosphorus Bridge before getting to Uskudar proper. The first of these is Nakkastepe. Pretty much every Asian side park runs northeast to southwest so no matter which one I stop at, I am going to be getting much better sets than rises.

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People were starting to be up and about by the time I was passing the next park, Fethipasa. By this point I knew I wasn’t going to be able to make it to Galata Bridge in time but I figured I might be able to get on a ferry and get some nice shots from there.

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Unfortunately the ferries, like the buses, don’t accommodate early risers. I was back to my original plan of taking the Marmaray. Right before heading down I snapped this. At this point it was 5:50 AM which means if I had still been up on my balcony, the sun would be peaking its head over the horizon any second.

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I was surprised how many people were up and about that early. As a general rule, life doesn’t begin in Istanbul until about 10AM but apparently enough people do have to head off to work that there were almost no open seats on the 6AM train. By the time I made it to the other side at Sirkeci it was about 6:10 and I was far too late.

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I figured I might as well push on at this point and continued heading for the Galata Bridge.

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I made it there a little past 6:20. So I was either thirty minuted too late or a month or two too early. I guess it all depends on how you look at it. Below and above are the exact same picture. Just played around with it a bit. (Brightened, softened, decreased the shadow, and added a tough of blue. Now it’s postcard worthy)

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Anyways, I’m off to get me some good borek. Till next time…

5 thoughts on “My (failed) Quest To Find The Perfect Sunrise

Add yours

  1. Hi BJ- I’m really enjoying these photos you’ve posted. Do you think you’d be willing to contribute some of your photos to my blog? My goal is to try to introduce the broader public to the wonderful world of travel and I think you’ve nailed it. You’d receive full recognition for your work, so if you’re interested, do feel free to drop me a line.


      1. Personally, I would love to see pictures of the spice markets along with a description of what the experience is like for those who have never been to Istanbul. Do you think that’d be possible?


  2. When I was a student at UC Berkeley I had a room on a Berkeley hill looking wet to the Golden Gate. It was a crazy time of antiwar protesting, but when I sat at my little dest at my personal window to the world, I watched some of the world’s most beautiful sunsets. It took me ten years to finally discover Jesus. Now, when people learn I was a Berkeley student they make all kinds of assumptions about my worldview and politics – most of them wrong.
    Love your intro to Kingdoms Colliding. I’m just sitting down to write a short blog on the up-side-down Kingdom – or should I say the Empire around us is up-side-down from the KOG. I agreed fully with all you said in that blog.
    And thanks for visiting my blog. I’m just restarting to write. God is so exciting to ponder!


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