Of Mosques and Men

The muezzin’s soft wails over a crackling loudspeaker broke our girlish chatter.

As he strained to reach the top notes, calling to pray at the edge of daylight, we were ducking the seagulls that took flight in front of the New Mosque, Eminönu Yenicam. Crossing the Galata bridge towards our hostel in Taskim, I turned and watch the golden-topped towers glint in the fleeting sunlight, reflecting on the Bosphorous below.

Turkey was just what I needed – to stretch my travel legs after a year of being dormant, to fill my belly with new tastes, to be somewhere without an Easter celebration. It beyond fulfilled my expectation with its incredible food, friendly people and views bordering on fantastical.

The Galata Bridge stretches over the Bosphorus between the European fingers of Turkey’s largest city. The fisherman are there early, displaying their catches in shallow styrofoam pools or old fish tanks, their long poles leaned up against the blue iron of the guard rails, and they stay even as the muezzin wails at the end of the day.

As seagulls soared over the tourism boats, I caught my breath at seeing a mosque somewhere in the distance. Its twin towers and dome looked like a mirage set against pastels as the sun continued to sink below the Earth. I felt like I was in the far East, far from anything occidental and familiar.

I was snapped out of my revery by the smell of pistachio and honey. The rest of the girls had stopped midway across the bridge at a small snack cart that sold a Turkish cousin to the churro. I shelled out about 72 cents for the pistachio dream, finding myself a million miles away from Spain and a million dreams into Turkey.

Never fear, readers. I know I’ve been away a bit, but I’ve got a few things in tow, including an article (that pays me!) for GPSmyCity and a new stint as an expert for The Spain Scoop. But I’ve got five articles half-finished, 800-some pictures to sort through from Turkey and a rainy weekend ahead, so you’ll get your fill!

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About Cat Gaa

As a beef-loving Chicago girl living among pigs, bullfighters, and a whole lotta canis, Cat Gaa writes about expat life in Seville, Spain. When not cavorting with adorable Spanish grandpas or struggling with Spanish prepositions, she wrangles babies at an English Language Academy and freelances with other publications, like Rough Guides and The Spain Scoop.

Comments

  1. Reblogged this on turkischland and commented:
    HELLO SISTER

  2. I was on that bridge with you. Look forward to more on Turkey!

  3. Dreaming of making it to Turkey, who did you fly with?

    • Hi, Reg! I flew with Iberia from Madrid, but hear that Turkish has opened a route from Malaga To Istanbul. Since youre close To Switzerland, you could try Swiss from Geneva; some friends went that way. GO.

  4. I ate Turkish food in London but I´m sure it doesn´t come close to what you experienced. Looknig forward to the photos!

  5. I thought you were going to contact me for tips and tricks on Istambul. Anyway, glad you enjoyed the city. It’s a great place with lots of things going on and such a long history!

    But there’s one thing I don’t agree with… the food is terrible!

    • Things got hectic before Semana Santa with Galicia, exams and calificaciones, and my compi’s imminent baja maternal. Sorry, Sandra!!

      And maybe Turish food is an acquired taste – they had a lot of the same foods I’ve been eating since a kid there!

  6. Oh, it wasn’t a reproach. Please don’t take me wrong. It’s was a surprise sentence, that’s it :)

  7. Terrific!! I love Turkish treats. I go to the Turkish pastry shop (run by a Turkish family) in the Albayzin every once in a while, and wonder if it tastes the same as those made in Turkey. I’d love to go visit Turkey someday!

  8. Keep working ,great job!

  9. Love the title of this post :-)
    I shop at the Turkish market in my town here in the Netherlands, but I’ve yet to try the traditional dished made with most of the exotic looking/sounding things I see on the shelves. Hopefully, my time in Istanbul will be a great culinary experience!!

    • I would die to go back to Turkey and eat! I’ll be in India in three weeks, and apart from the travels, I’m really excited to eat!

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  1. […] feet, relishing in feeling the carpet beneath them. After the trek downhill from Taksim and crossing the Galata Bridge, the two peninsulas that make up the European part of Istanbul, we found ourselves at the feet of […]

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