It is snowing. Nick and I attempted to stay warm and dry as we made the 30 minute walk across the Galata Bridge. My hands nearly froze, and the hood of Nick’s raincoat was not very cooperative. W are California wusses when it comes to the cold. Nevertheless, it was nice to see Istanbul in the snow.
We took the elevator up the Galata Tower, hiked up the winding stairs, and walked around the observation deck at the top of the tower. Even with the thick fog, the view was quite good. The Galata Tower was built in 1348. During the reign of Murad IV (1612 – 1640), an early aviator named Hezarfen Ahmet Celebi flew with artificial wings from the tower over the Bospherous to the slopes of Uskudar, nearly 6 kilometers away. Murad was delighted by the flight, and almost gave Hezarfen a reward but then changed his mind. Instead, Hezarfen was exiled to Algeria, as he was seen as a threat. Bum deal.
After reveling in that delightful tale, we headed to the Pera Palace, where we met with Suzan, the head of marketing. There we took a small tour, saw the original silverware and dining sets, and managed to pick up a press kit. We are excited and can’t wait to watch the documentary that is included. Suzan told us that much of the decor is original, from the stained glass windows in the bar, to the light fixtures. (We think they have probably gotten new bed sheets and towels since then.)
The Pera Palace was quite a delight, and we will share photos as soon as we have access to a real computer!
Press kit from the Pera Palace
View of the Galata Tower from below
Winding stairs in the Galata Tower
Poor cold Californian
Remember the post about cats jumping in tourists’ bags…here’s proof! Silly kitten.