galata bridge, Istanbul
Galata Bridge is one of my favourite places in Istanbul. The reason is not its appearance or constructional value, but the sentiment I feel for it. This fondness had started well before I came to Istanbul. One day, looking around for books about Turkey, I came across a little book by Geert Mak called "The Bridge". The author came to Istanbul in 2006 and spent several weeks there talking to and getting to know the people of the Galata Bridge. We meet a book seller, an umbrella seller, anglers, a Spanish couple, a lottery ticket girl, a man selling tea and a few others. They all try to earn their living here, struggling from day to day, having their own worries and dreams. Mak listens to what they have to say about their lives but also about general issues, such as religion, women's liberation, honour or freedom. The result is a fascinating portrait of the complex Istanbul society intertwined with the story of the bridge.
This is what Geert Mak himself says about the book: "it is about this city, it is about the traditional Muslim life and modernity, but it is a lot about how people are coping with poverty while they're living often in rich and modern surroundings, and how they manage not to become criminal or very jealous or crazy or terrorists or something like that. At the end I thought I have perhaps written a book about dignity, but I didn't want to write it but it became it in that way."
What you can't miss when walking over Galata Bridgeare are its anglers. But you probably don't know that they have more than twenty names for the winds in Istanbul. Geert Mak gives each chapter of his little book the name of another wind. So there is for example "the black wind" and " the green wind", " the wind of small apples" and "the wind of grapes". I wonder what winds were blowing when I came to Istanbul in August 2013.
Yes, Istanbul is a beautiful city with many great sights. But there are many beautiful cities in the world, so what makes Istanbul so special?
For me it was the hours spent in the city's wonderful cafés, drinking 'cay' or 'kafe', smoking nargileh (they have soooo many flavors).
It's just the perfect way to relax in between exhausting sightseeing sessions.
Check out one of the cafés under the Galata Bridge at night. The view on the illuminated Yeni Mosque mosque is breathtaking.
It doesn't matter whether it's hot outside as in hell, rains or snows, or cold freezez to the bone marrow, these guys are always on Galata Bridge.....
It's a way of life, an everyday ritual which could hardly be broke, it's like the change of guards near Queen's residence :))) an eternal Swiss watch, which never stops and never fails....
The Golden Horn runs approximately seven miles inland from the Sea of Marmara, a natural harbor along the northern edge of Stamboul that contributed heavily to the city's wealth (the fisheries here have been notorious over the centuries). Frequently miscalled the divider between European and Asian Istanbul, the inlet only divides Stamboul from the more modern suburb of Pera (Galata).
Fondest memory: Standing on the Galata Bridge, the focal point of life in Istanbul, the senses are overwhelmed with sounds and images. Hawkers and fishermen swarm the bridge. The Galata Tower stares down from its stronghold, while Yeni Cami anchors the southern watches, flanked in turn by Topkapi Palace and Suleimaniye.
Favorite thing: You are really missing out if you don't try street food. At Eminonu, have a nice snack or lunch by Galata Bridge under the watch of of another great mosque.
It is the bridge between Eminonu(old peninsula) and Karakoy ....
The bridge is full of romantic fishermen who enjoys fishing as they gaze towards Sultanahmet and the Palace..