After I dropped off the illustration I had been working on for a client in Kasımpaşa, I decided that since I was near Galata Kulesi, otherwise known as the Galata tower, I'd pop on over to check it out. I've always seen it from a distance but have never actually been there. It's a landmark that is impossible to miss— a huge cylindrical structure with a cone-shaped roof watching over the Golden Horn. Built in 1348, the the tower stands 66.90 metres tall and is 35 metres above sea-level, which made it the highest structure in Constantinople. Its primary purpose during Ottoman times was watching for fires. When I was little, I believed that it was from Galata Kulesi that Icarus attempted to fly free on his wings of wax.
Before venturing into the tower, I stopped in a café at the base for a tea and tost— toast. I love the phonetic spelling in Turkish! Tost is basically what is known to Americans as grilled cheese. You can get tomatoes in your tost or a tasty spicy sausage called sucuk— which is what I got. There is a café in the tower should you wish to dine with a view, but I haven't tried it.
Climbing to the top of Galata Kulesi will give you one of the most astonishing views of the Bosphorus and Golden Horn. On a clear day, you can see the Marmara sea with all its boats waiting for entry into the strait.
On the left side of the picture below, you can see Hagia Sophia (Aya Sofya in Turkish) on the horizon and Sultanahmet, the Blue Mosque, on the right.
Upon exiting, there was a man with a sweets cart that I couldn't resist purchasing a little fried dough from. This is the Turkish version of a churro, which I am crazy for. The amount of churros I ate back in California is either impressive or embarrassing. Syrupy, doughy, delicious and only 50 kuruş— which according to today's exchange rate is 31 cents. You can't beat that. I'm not sure what this is called, but a shorter form is called tulumba.
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