Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Wandering in Galata

Last night was a beautiful summer evening, so I went wandering. Here are a few pics I took along the way.

The first is the re-opened old funicular tunnel that runs from Karakoy to Tunel, (yes I spelled that right). This is the second oldest underground, (the London tubes are first). 

Before, the old station had original Iznik tiles lining the walls at the lower station. Considering just one of those tiles would fetch several thousand pounds at Sotheby's auction house, it's no surprise the old tiles disappeared, only to be replaced with new Iznik tiles, still handpainted, still valuable, but not original. (Sorry no pic of the new tiles.) 

Anyway, one thing I do love about this tunnel is that it's now lit all the way through from bottom to top. As you ascend or descend, you can see all the original brickwork inside. (You get the idea from the above picture.) The ride is bumpy, the car creeks and the ride is less than a minute, but  I love it. It feels like a real piece of "Old Stamboul".

At the top of the funicular, you emerge into Tunel, an area filled with music stores. I have spied the Turkish brass cymbals here marked "Ziljian", just like the ones that belonged to my dad's drum kit when I was a kid. Now I understand. "Zil" means cymbal, and "ji"means maker in Turkish. I haven't figured out what the last "an" is yet. 

This is the old "Nostaljik Tramway" that still runs up and down Istiklal Street.

This fourth picture is of the beloved Galata Tower. The square below has undergone a real transformation in the past year, trendy restaurants and boutique stores have sprung up. 

On this night there was a free concert. The group was playing their hit song that's used in a popular Turkish sitcom, (even I recognized it!) There were two lone dancers out front. It was a real August Fair at Manitou Park moment. (People from Naramata will understand.)

Free concerts in the summer are an expected regular occurrence in Istanbul. In fact as I write this I can hear music coming across the street from the park. I'm hot and sweaty on the second floor of the agency. Think I'll go check it out. 

1 comment:

  1. It is Ziljiyan actually and the ian or yan suffix is Armenian and means 'son'. So it is a surname and means cynlamaker's son! Back from the Ottoman days...