Tag Archives: Square

Saturday morning blues

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Last night was my last night of freedom in Istanbul, because Saturday morning I start the English course off with introductions and the formalities of attending the course.

So a walk up to Taxim Square. Mixing with the Friday night people, going out for a meal, a drink, just to be with friends.

Saturday morning, did not start well, with no water to the apartment, so no shower. The normal ferry I catch was not there, times of departure must change on a Saturday. I am ten minutes late for the course, and there is no translator. Get on with it, get the course started. I failed in my own standards, to be at the course at least half an hour before the start.

Although I was not a member of the Scouts, I wore long trousers not silly shorts, as I was in the Boys Brigade, I stand by their moto, Be Prepared. The Boys Brigade was “Sure and Steadfast”.

Ok, put a smile on my face, get in there and start the course, the participants are paying the bills and they expect the goods.

Friday, my last day of rest, Ho Ho

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Galata Tower from the Bosphorus
Yesterday, I had another lay-in, and then took the ferry to Kadikoy to the office/school to arrange the training courses for the rest of the year here in Turkey, and to have lunch in a small family run restaurant/café.

On my journey, I was able to watch people going about their day, some were in a hurry to get to meetings, some had nothing to do, some were tourists being overwhelmed by new sights and sounds.

La Cantine and Tunel Tram

La Cantine and Tunel Tram

They looked at the old tram which rumbles up and down Taxim Hill between Taxim Square and Tunel. A real old machines, lovingly maintained, which makes them a joy to ride.

Beside the tram stop a vendor sells the traditional Simit, a round ring of bread with I presume sesame seeds, the Turkish people love them, as there are vendors on every street corner, or you hear them shouting out for people to buy them as they balance a tray of the on their head, or you see them walking between the cars of the ever increasing traffic jams with simit’s strung on broom handles.

On my journey on the ferry to the Eastern side, I sat in the open stern, cold but enjoying the views of Istanbul. I look back to where we had just departed, as a young woman  threw pieces of Simit into the air for the hungry seagulls to pluck midair, to the masses of apartments perched on the step hills of Istanbul.

There, I say the Galata Tower. From 1348 this tower has dominated the skyline of Istanbul, originally known as the Tower of Christ, it was a lookout tower of the Genoese colony called Galata. this 12-storey construction once functioned as a jail for prisoners of war, a shipyard, a warehouse and a fire station. Today the Galata Tower is one of Istanbul’s major attractions, offering fantastic views of the city and its landmarks. It is said that, an Ottoman citizen, Hezarfen Ahmet Celebi was the first person to fly, launched himself from the tower and crossed the Bosphorus.

Galata Tower from the Bosphorus

Galata Tower from the Bosphorus

Gatalta Tower from the ferry, with seagulls      Gallata Tower or the Tower of Christ

Again as we crossed to the other side, I saw the trade of the world happening as ships moored at the quayside to unload their cargo, and take new containers of goods to the rest of the world.

The container port of Istanbul

Tugs pushed the massive vessels into the quayside as they tied up, large cranes towered over containers stacked high on the decks. I wonder what is inside each container?

I was cold but enjoyed being alive, seeing life as it happens.

The return home to Taxim, Tunel.

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NLPNOW

The time to leave the office/training facilities in Kadikoy, Istanbul came and I ventured into the cold afternoon to travel back to my accommodation in Taxim Tunel.

Taxim Square is if you like the Piccadilly Circus, the Leicester Square, the Times Square for Istanbul, many mass meetings are held there, with a large presence of riot clad police in attendance, it is where people meet, lovers, families and friends, a of fun, happiness. It draws people in via the buses, yellow taxis, the short Metro only perhaps six stations. Taxim Hill is a pedestrian only shopping area, recently being repaved (twice), with a twin trolley/tram service passing each other midway.

Taxi Tunel Underground Train

Taxi Tunel Underground Train

At the far end, where I stay is Tunel. This is a tunnel that links this part of Istanbul to the lower area near the Bosphorus called Karakoy, from here I catch the ferry to the other side. This tram tunnel the world’s second oldest metro was built in 1871. Again a twin tram system passing in the middle. The whole ride lasting only a couple of minutes (1.5). No chance of missing a station there are only two. But, it save a long hard and steep walk from the ferry to my flat.

A ship passes through the Bosphorus

A ship passes through the Bosphorus

Half way across the Bosphorus, we passed a large ship heading towards the Black Sea, to my amazement racing along side was a pod of dolphins breaking water as the swam against the strong current flowing towards the Aegean Sea. The dolphins swam at ease with each other, the never seem to make a mistake, make a wrong turn, hit an object, they are one with their surroundings, their environment. Why do we humans make so many mistakes, make the wrong decisions? We have much to learn about what is happening around us. For those who have worked with me, remember Phillips sausage.