Monday, 23 September 2013

Istanbul, Episode 3 - Galata Bridge

Istanbul's Galata bridge has spanned the Golden Horn since the sixth century AD. What we cross today is the 5th Galata Bridge. The latest version was built in the 1990's. It connects the old city with the more Western districts to the north. 

I read a beautifully written book called "The bridge" I picked it up at our hostel. Its packed full of history & laced with biographies of the people who populate the bridge. Fishermen, cigarette vendors & some of the best pickpockets in Europe. The writer met an umbrella salesman who tried to emigrate to England but was denied entry at Heathrow & was sent back to Turkey. He still dreams of taking legal action against England. "Yes, why not? Against the whole country! I don't have any money, but some day I'll get them! I'll drag them all into court"

The bridge has the usual walkways, roads & tramlines but underneath there are restaurants & bars. What a great use of space.

We had by now left Wormwood Scrubs & moved into a hotel. We spent our last few days in the Old City in comfort & privacy. Next to the hotel was another mosque. No where near as grand as the others we have seen but it had this courtyard that was populated by geese, rabbits & cats. All living together in harmony. 

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