Turkish Delight

We at BookTrail Towers have sadly never been to Istanbul. We would like to go that’s for sure so when we came across this little book of ‘ Perfect gems of City writing’ we thought ‘ooh this sounds interesting’

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The book is a veritable Turkish smörgåsbord  of writing of all flavours for all tastes presented in various courses for your delectation. Various writers or should I say ‘word chefs’ cook up a feast for all your senses –

  •  What is it about Istanbul?
  • Traveller’s tales
  • The glorious past
  • The city in all its moods
Istanbul - waiting to be discovered. Image courtesy of Wikipedia
Istanbul – waiting to be discovered. Image courtesy of Wikipedia

This resonated with us very strongly since the cities we have been to DO change via season, part of history and we all have a tale to tell of our own experience of a city.

Travel writers, local writers, novelists who have used Istanbul as a setting backdrop or even character in their novels are brought together in a tempting mix  – to get the real flavour, spice and bite of a city across to the City pick reader

 

The Grand Bazaar of Istanbul - image courtesy of Wikipedia
The Grand Bazaar of Istanbul – image courtesy of Wikipedia

We were keen to read on and meet the guides of Istanbul –

Orhan Pamuk who makes his own museum

Elif Shafak experience of shopping in the Grand Bazaar

Ride the Bosphorus ferries with William Dalrymple

See why Geert Mak enjoys the Galata Bridge

Listen to Yashar Kemal recalling a moving tradition

 and of course, travel on the same ‘magic bus‘ as  Rory Maclean

Particular favorites of ours (although there are many to choose from ) include a 19th century visitor’s journey into the Basilica Cistern, plus the various people crossing Galata bridge in different ages.

 

Galata Bridge 

Galata Bridge - image courtesy of Wikipedia
Galata Bridge – image courtesy of Wikipedia

 

Taste the city – 

To me, Istanbul is the most fascinating , most ravishing city on earth,a felling that hasn’t wavered since I first ate a peach on the Galata Bridge twenty years ago.

Anya von Bremzen ‘ eating in Istanbul’

 

Sultan Ahmed Mosque also known as the Blue Mosque brought to life by Rory Maclean - image courtesy of Wikipedia
Sultan Ahmed Mosque also known as the Blue Mosque because of its blue tiles  – brought to life by Rory Maclean – image courtesy of Wikipedia

Experience the atmospheric rain and fog –

 At this hour the mist would lie so thick that the domes of Santa Sofia and the rest would seem to be afloat; gradually the mist would uncover them;the bubbles would be seen to be firmly fixed;there would be the river; there the Galata Bridge…

Virginia Woolf

The atmospheric cover of River of the Dead by Barbara Nadel
The atmospheric cover of River of the Dead by Barbara Nadel

See the city from a detective’s eyes – 

 Everything in Istanbul has a fake something or other. Inspector Çetin Ikmen himself had beee given a counterfeit Rolex watch by his youngest son for his last, his fifty-seventh, birthday. The child Kemal, has purchased it fro one of the many scruffy-looking vendors of such things who plied their trade underneath the Galata Bridge

 

Barbara Nadel is an English novelist (who has written the introduction to this city pick guide herself)  and who has set her series of crime novels in the city featuring the  detective  Çetin Ikmen

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The city pick guides are tour guides with a difference and a mix of short and longer passages gives the whole recipe of what can only be described as Turkish Delight

 

Find out more about the City Pick guides here – http://thecity-litcafe.typepad.com/

For the novels of Barbara Nadel – http://www.barbara-nadel.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

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