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.
We have noticed that there seems to be a fine line between sidewalk and street. Drivers don’t hesitate to simply hop the curb, whether or not pedestrians are currently occupying the sidewalk.
Drivers like to go in reverse. Why? Who knows.
Sultanahmet park is also just a dog park. At night the strays chase each other and generally just seem to have an awesome time being a dog.
It’s pretty sweet being a stray cat in Istanbul. They’re well-fed, get lots of attention, and get to hop in unsuspecting tourists’ bags.
Now here are some photos from today’s adventures!
Nick before we ventured into the Archaeology Museum
Me, trying to stay warm.
Could those be Cthulhu’s tentacles, coming up to snatch the cultists?
This guy looks like he just lost some sanity by witnessing a gruesome scene!
I think deep ones must dwell in the Basilica Cisterns. Strange medusa heads can be found in the depths. Luckily we didn’t turn to stone…at least…not yet!
We are busy little shoggoths here at Chaosium. While we prepare for our trip to Istanbul we are also working on various publications. I want to share an image for a postcard that will be included in the Horror on the Orient Express boxed set. The following image was created by the graphic designer Michele Johnson.
A postcard from Constantinople
With our departure a mere 2 weeks away, Nick and I are busy setting up meetings and planning the details of our research trip to Istanbul. While there we plan on visiting the Railway Museum located at Sirkeci Station, as well as the university library.
Seeing as how we were both born and raised in the SF Bay Area, we are also busy thinking about how to stay warm. My wool socks have been purchased, and I am glad I invested in a winter coat a few years ago for a trip to Iceland. (While on vacation I visited Pedro Ziviani, author of Mythic Iceland.) I may end up packing hundreds of hand warmers in lieu of other necessities (who needs more than one pair of pants, anyway?)
Check in here to follow along our journey.
Here is a view of Istanbul from the 1920s for your pleasure.
Hagia Sophia in the 1920s.