Monday, April 30, 2012

Arigato, Japonia! 2. La Kyoto prin...Istanbul / Arigato, Japan! To Kyoto via...Istanbul

 I knew that April is the month when one can see Istanbul full of tulips due to the Tulip Festival. It is the 7th edition now, and I wanted to go to Emirgan Park, the place where all the events happen. It was too far, so I decided to see Gulhane Park, near the Topkapi Palace instead.


The tulip is the national flower of Turkey. The wild species has been brought here from the Mongolian meadows, and only in the XVIth century the Dutch imported the tulip in Europe. You can see the tulip on the touristic logo and, recently, on the fuselage of the Turkish Airline plains. It was even "a tulip era" in the history of the country between 1718-1730, when it appeared on ceramics, embroideries and in the gardens.

From the airport, I took M1 subway line to the Zeytinburnu station, where I changed on the T1 tramway. It was a long way, of 16 stations to the Gulhane station where the park is. Along the exterior walls of the palace and underneath of the Parade Pavilion (where the sultans and their guests looked at the military parades), I arrived in the park. A lot of tulips, in different colors, and a lot of people. You can buy chestnuts or maize and stroll on the alleys.

I took again the tram to Kabatas and then I changed to the Tunnel or the Funikuler and went to the Taksim Squer, which is the heart of the modern city, in the elegant Beyoglu. By metro, I went to Levent 4, the financial district, where my next objective was. I am speaking about the Sapphire Tower, the highest building in Turkey (236 m), inaugurated on March 2011.


There is an observation deck on the 54th. floor which offers a panoramic view which breaks your breath! To the Bosphorus and the Golden Horn, your sight wanders...The access costs 15 TL or 7.5 euros. You can drink a tea on the terrace and admire the view.

I ate in the mall (what you see is 18TL or 7.70 euros), and returned to the Taksim Square. There, in the middle, it is the Independence Monument sculpted by Canonica in 1928. I took the Havas bus(10 TL) to the airport. On the way, I saw the Valens aqueduct, functional to the XIXth century, which brought water to the city from the Belgrad Forest.

It was late and people were almost gone. My flight was scheduled at 0.50 a.m. Finnaly we took off. From 6000 m Istanbul was a sea of lights. Admirable view but my unprofessional camera couldn't catch the splendor.


Dupa cum am spus deja, o escala de 11 ore pe aeroportul "Ataturk" din Istanbul mi-a dat ocazia de a vedea ceva nou in acest oras.
Stiam ca aprilie este luna Festivalului Lalelelor, aflat la a 7-a editie a sa, asa ca, normal, am vrut sa vad cum arata aceste indragite flori la ele acasa. Da, asa este! Laleaua este originara din stepele mongole, de unde a fost adusa specia salbatica si aclimatizata in Turcia, devenind totodata si floarea lor nationala. De aici a fost ea importata in Olanda, in secolul al XVI-lea, unde a cunoscut o dezvoltare deosebita a soiurilor si de unde s-a raspandit in toata Europa, astfel incat multa lume crede acum ca Olanda este tara sa de origine.

In Turcia, laleaua face parte din logo-ul sau turistic si se regaseste pe fuselajul avioanelor apartinand companiei Turkish Airline, ca un nou design. Numele sau botanic, Tulipa, provine de la "tulbend" sau "turban", cu care se aseamana forma sa. Intre 1718-1730, sub domnia lui Ahmed al III-lea, Turcia s-a aflat in asa-numita "era a lalelei", cand aceasta a devenit un stil. Ceramica pictata, broderiile si motivele de pe covoare purtau motivul florii, iar gradinile de lalele erau vizitate cu mare placere.
Initial, vroiam sa merg la Parcul Emirgan, unde au loc principalele manifestari din cadrul festivalului, dar era prea departe si nu as mai fi vazut altceva, asa ca m-am decis pentru Gulhane, micul parc de langa Palatul Topkapi.  De la aeroport am cumparat cateva jetoane pentru metrou (2 TL/jeton) si am plecat cu M1 pana la statia Zeytinburnu, unde m-am mutat in tramvaiul T1, directia Kabatas. Tramvaiul trece incet prin diverse cartiere, astfel incat, chiar daca iti ia ceva timp, poti vedea cate ceva din oras. Am coborat in a 16-a statie, numita chiar Gulhane Parc. Am mers de-a lungul zidului exterior al Palatului Topkapi, trecand pe sub Pavilionul Parazilor, de unde sultanul si oaspetii sai priveau - din spatele geamurilor aurite dar zabrelite - parazile militare.
 tramvaiul T1, langa statia Gulhane
 Pavilionul Parazilor
de-a lungul zidului exterior al palatului Topkapi
Parcul Gulhane face legatura intre Palatul Topkapi si Muzeul de Arheologie. Odinioara, el era folosit doar de catre sultan si haremul sau. La capat, puteti admira Bosforul, band un pahar cu ceai la una din numeroasele ceainarii. Lalelele multicolore incantau vizitatorii care se intreceau in a poza intre ele sau a face poze. Multi oameni stateau intinsi pe iarba bucurandu-se de vremea insorita, lucru absolut normal in parcurile din Turcia, cata vreme nu sunt distruse plantele. Statuia lui Kemal Ataturk, omniprezenta, veghea si aici incantarea evidenta a celor care se plimbau prin parc.
 una din intrarile in parc
 statuia lui Ataturk vegheaza
 vanzatoarea de coronite de flori
La iesire, un vanzator de castane coapte si porumb fiert, si un grup de turcoaice gurese, imbracate traditional.
Am luat din nou tramvaiul, pana la Kabatas, unde l-am schimbat pe Tunnel sau Funikuler, cum i se spunea inainte, pentru a ajunge in Piata Taksim, inima orasului modern. M-am oprit putin sa privesc vanzoleala din Corn, cu ferry si minarete de moschei. In statia Taksim se pastreaza roata fostului funicular, caruia i-a luat locul un metrou modern.
Piata Taksim este imensa. N-am fost inca in aceasta parte a orasului. Taksim inseamna "centrul de distribuire a apei" si de aici era trimisa apa adusa din Padurea Belgrad in tot orasul, in secolul al XVIII-lea. In mijlocul sau se inalta un monument sculptat de italianul Canonica in 1928, numit Monumentul Independentei. El ii reprezinta pe Ataturk si pe ceilalti intemeietori ai Republicii Turcia. Tot aici exista si o piata de flori. Piata este si centrul animat al elegantului cartier Beyoglu.
 Piata Taksim
 Monumentul Independentei
Piata de Flori
Din Piata Taksim, la 5 statii distanta, in statia Levent 4 am gasit cel de-al doilea obiectiv propus pentru aceasta scurta escala, Turnul Safir. 
 decoratii in statiile de metrou spre Levent 4
Cartierul Levent este un cartier financiar, cu sedii de banci si mari companii, cu nimic mai prejos de alte cartiere asemanatoare din orasele occidentale. Zece din cele 65 de etaje ale turnului se afla in subteran. In zona inca se construieste si este dificil de fotografiat turnul in intregime. L-am vazut insa din avion dar nu am putut sa il fotografiez deoarece nu aveam loc la geam, spre parerea mea de rau fiindca Istanbulul vazut de sus este extraordinar.
 Turnul Safir, 236 m
 mallul din turn
Inaugurat in martie 2011, Turnul Safir este cea mai inalta cladire din Turcia (236 m) si ofera o vedere panoramica asupra capitalei. In interiorul turnului, ocupat de un mall, observatorul se afla la etajul 54. Accesul costa 15 TL, cam 7.5 euro. Privelistea care te intimpina sus iti taie literalmente rasuflarea, mai ales daca ai noroc de o zi insorita cum a fost a mea!
La coborare, am mancat in mall la o autoservire un fel de ghiveci cu morcovi, vinete, rosii, mazare, fasole, cartofi si carne de vita, nelipsitul orez si o salata verde si am baut un Schwepps de mandarine, totul la pretul de 18 Tl, cam 7.70 euro.
Autobuzul Havas m-a dus apoi la aeroport (costul biletului: 10 TL). Soarele apunea si se instala intunericul. Traficul intens a facut ca durata drumului sa fie de cca. o ora. Am mers o bucata de timp si paralel cu marea si am apucat sa vad si o parte din apeductul Valens, construit in sec. IV i.e.n. pentru a transporta apa din Padurea Belgrad. Din cei 1000 de m ai sai, au ramas doar 625. Apeductul a fost functional pana in secolul al XIX-lea.
 apeductul Valens
in drum spre aeroport
Incet, incet, aeroportul ramanea tot mai pustiu. Zborul meu era la 0.50. De sus, de la 6000 m, Istanbulul era o mare de lumini pe care bietul meu aparat nu o mai putea percepe decat cu greu. Eram in drum spre Japonia!
 aeroportul Ataturk
Istanbulul se pierde sub noi, in intuneric

24 comments:

Claudia Mihaila said...

Ce ma bucur ca ai scris despre Turnul Safir, eu l-am ratat de data asta, dar il voi vedea data viitoare.

Joop Zand said...

Very interresting serie photo's....it's always pleasant to read and see your work.....my compliments.

Greetings, Joop

Traveling Hawk said...

Ma bucur, Claudia, daca ti-am dat niste informatii. E un loc care nu trebuie ocolit, inca nu stiu multi despre el. Privelistea e cu adevarat minunata si e si un bun loc de odihna.

Traveling Hawk said...

Thank you, Joop! Have a good week!

VP said...

The first images of this post were quite familiar...

Traveling Hawk said...

Thanks for the visit, VP!

DANI said...

Ai profitat la maxim de orele dintre zboruri si ai stiut la fix, ce mijloace de transport sa folosesti. Jos palaria pentru programare !
Mi-ar place, sa vad lalelele in Turcia in salbaticie ...

Traveling Hawk said...

Multumesc, Dani! Nu stiu daca le mai vezi in Turcia in salbaticie. Ele existau asa in stepe, poate au disparut...

LifeRamblings said...

i love everything about Istanbul. your photos bring back wonderful flashbacks of my trip.

Traveling Hawk said...

You are right, Life Ramblings. Istanbul is a fabulous city.

rama said...

Such a lovely city, and the views from the top are excellent.

Turquoise Diaries said...

I really dont miss İstanbul but the tulips are always great to see. Thanks for the photos of lovely flowers..

Doug Hickok said...

What a fantastic point of view, so high above the city!

Traveling Hawk said...

Thanks, rama!

Traveling Hawk said...

You are welcome, Turquoise Diaries! I believe that you don't miss Istanbul, being at Datcha!

Traveling Hawk said...

I can imagine what photos would YOU shot there, Doug!

Kumiko said...

So many beautiful tulips! I love these flowers.
Istanbul is beautiful city,I want to visit there.

Traveling Hawk said...

It's worth to visit Istanbul, Kumiko! Many nice and interesting objectives there!

Rizalenio said...

The beauty of the trees and the flowers - ah so wonderful. And the overlooking sceneries - breathtaking.

Traveling Hawk said...

Istanbul IS breathtaking, Rizalenio. It has so much to offer and it could be so different in different parts.

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