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  • Writer's pictureFrank Klaus Jordan

messengers of poseidon at sumahan boutique hotel

Sumahan on the Water

It is a small romantic place at the waterfront on the very edge of the Bosphorus straits that separates Europe from Asia. Here, where the strong current carries the cold water of the Black Sea into the warm waters of the Marmara Sea, on its way to the Aegean. "Sumahan on the Water" boutique hotel is located in the Çengelköy area of Istanbul. The neighborhood retains a sense of suburban historic Istanbul life thanks to its wood panelled houses and its waterfront fish restaurants. The area brings us back in time as it was in the Ottoman Empire.

This boutique property, with its 13 unique suites, is a rare example for a thoughtful transformation of a historical industrial facility into a remarkable 5-star luxury hotel with a magnificent waterside view. The facility was built in the mid 19th Century to produce “suma” the unadulterated spirit used to make "rakı", the Ottomans’ favorite tipple. Today Sumahan’s past is preserved in the architecture of its guest rooms in which the choice of wood and marble stone works, bare bricks, steel joists and mezzanine floors evoke the factory equipment that once occupied the building. The hotel is a contemporary architectural treasure, a gateway to the history of Turkish culture that offers its guests serenity and peace; which is hard to find in this bustling and vibrant modern Istanbul.

There is nothing better than enjoying our Sunday breakfast at the waterfront. The city has woken up and looks different now. From last night we remember the mix of city lights reflected in the water and the priceless hours in front of the fireplace. Life is beautiful. We decide to come back here for our next Bosphorus swim race. While our eyes are going to the other shore, where the race finish line was set the last time, we recognize some dark fins coming out of the water. A school of dolphins. We jump up from our seats to enjoy this wonderful sight.

Messengers of Poseidon

From all the creatures in the Seas, Dolphins are the most impressive ones for me. They inhabit every Ocean, even big rivers, of the world and appear in myths and stories of any ancient civilization that ever populated the continents. The ancient Greeks showed respect, admiration and affection for Dolphins and had a collection of myths that survived until the present day. The Greeks considered the appearance of Dolphins as a good omen and many of their art objects and coins show images of Dolphins. Ancient civilizations believed that Dolphins were the messengers of Poseidon and were under the protection of Aphrodite. Although it seems that in the past Dolphins were under protection of some powerful deities, it is our responsibility today to protect these wonderful creatures, so that they will continue to be present in our future stories.

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