Sunday, 22 January 2012

Istanbul - A View From Galata Bridge




Regular visitors to this blog will have worked out long ago that we're not big on covering all the main tourist sights of Turkey here. It's not that we don't want to! The problem is, we only started this blog a couple of years back when we'd already made numerous visits to Turkey and lived here on and off for 6 years. That meant we'd already been to many of the main haunts on the popular Turkey tourist trail pre-blog days and we'd like to keep everything as up-to-date as it possibly can be. 

For ourselves (and therefore, for the benefit of the blog) we're visiting the sights again slowly, slowly. We enjoy it! Turkey has some of the most significant and beautiful historic buildings and sights in the world. How can we not enjoy it? But there are also those random moments that make you stop in your tracks. Even when you've been somewhere many times and walked the route many times and seen the view many times, sometimes you really notice a scene for the first time. We've got to include those times, too.

View from Galata Bridge, Istanbul
View from Galata Bridge, Istanbul
One of those times happened in October when we were in Istanbul. We'd walked down the hill to Eminönü from Süleymaniye Mosque in Beyazıt. Once in Eminönü, we bought a plastic cup of Istanbul pickles (turşu) and set off towards Beyoğlu, across Galata Bridge. All the while we were munching on the pickles and slurping pickle vinegar - oh how happy we are that this is the norm in Istanbul. We're pickle fans!

Inevitably the time came when the flimsy, plastic fork would no longer suffice and so we had to stop and lean on the railings of the bridge while we polished off the rest of the pickles. That was when we looked back to where we'd come from. That was when we thought, 'Just look at that view. Look at Istanbul!' 

So many layers. The boats selling their balık ekmeği (fish in bread) on the banks of the Golden Horn; the overcrowded main road, packed with single decker buses and taxis; historic hamams and the Egyptian spice Bazaar just to the left; 1960s apartment blocks, office buildings and a multi-storey car park...and all crowned by the majesty of Süleymaniye Camii (Mosque). Amazing to think that when you walk up there to visit it, it's not actually that easy to spot! Steep hills and high, stone walls do an excellent job of concealing it.

We can't say this is our favourite view in Istanbul - we can never say what our favourite view is in Istanbul. It's a city full of stand-and-stop-and-stare views! But this view says a lot to us.

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13 comments:

It is my favourite view,I really know I'm in Istanbul as I cross over the bridge towards Eminonu . Not only the sight but also the smell of the food and the noise of the people, its a wonderful city !!!

Read the title of this post, and immediately thought of the view from the other side of the Galata Bridge - the Topkapi Palace. I'd never be able to pick my one favorite view of Istanbul, but these are two of them. Thanks for reminding me to keep my eyes open here!

I love this view of the city and I urge to go below the bridge to smoke a pipe sitting on huge bean bags...life is good!

@ Laurie Goldsmith: Something special about the Galata Bridge isn't there? The view in the opposite direction too isn't bad! ;)

@ Bazaar Bayar: We always concentrate on that side of the bridge, too so it was good to realise this view is just as special. :)

@ Jaz: Yes, it's a city we love to visit as often as we can. An addictive place! :)

@ Peter M: Ahhh, yes. Smoking a nargile under the Galata Bridge, watching the ferries crossing the Bosphorus. Special. and life definitely is good! :)

Oh my this is priceless...I loved how you described it "the layers"- amazing view!!!!!

@ Anjuli: Lovely Istanbul view isn't it? Definitely up there with the favourites. :)

I try and have all our guests experience that walk across the Galata Bridge. This scene got me all misty eyed last month before I visited the US for the holidays. As the sun sets and the bridge lights start coming on - it truly is magical! =)

@ Joy: Special isn't it. I remember you not wanting to leave to go away for Christmas. :)

That is definitely a stand, stop and stare view. I've had that experience of looking at a familiar sight with a new set of eyes unexpectedly. What a treat.

@ Cathy: A nice feeling isn't it when you realise something is right in front of you and has been all the time. A definite treat. :)

What beautiful light and gorgeous detail in this fine image. I want to be there now!

@ Andrew Graeme Gould: It's one of our favourite views of the city now. Although, there are beautiful views everywhere in Istanbul! :)

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