A Concert Under A Medieval Tower

The plan was to walk up to the Galata Tower with our friends, stop for a snack at one of the little cafes in this newly gentrified neighbourhood and then take a cab across town to the uber cool Ulus29 for dinner.

When we spotted a stage being readied for a concert right beside the tower we girls, gushed, “How romantic!”. The men didn’t quite get the romance but agreed to stay on rather reluctantly.

Galata Tower

Thankfully, our simple seafood dinner at a tiny restaurant across the street, Furreya, turned out to be one of the best meals of that trip. And the concert? Magical and well worth the wait.

On our way back we stopped to listen to street performers on Istiklal street. They were surprisingly good and we appreciated the fact that they insisted we accept their CD in exchange for the tip.

OUR boys were kind of mollified when I suggested we stop at 360 – a bar/club –Β on the way back, for cocktails and more music. The cocktails were OK, the music great and the views didn’t disappoint.


They took no chances the next evening, however. They opted to linger over coffee and people watch (People? I later overheard “gorgeous girl in a green dress.”) while we explored the lanes off Istiklal, shopped, and got our fortunes read from coffee dregs.

They missed out…I think.

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Madhu is an Interior designer turned travel blogger on a long sabbatical to explore the world. When not crafting stories on The Urge To Wander, she's probably Tweeting @theurgetowander or sharing special moments on instagram.com/theurgetowander

66 thoughts on “A Concert Under A Medieval Tower

  1. It’s those unexpected, spontaneous changes of plan that so often provide us with our most indelible memories, don’t you think? It sounds like a magical evening, despite the little frissant of disapproval from the boys:)

    And wonderful images to illustrate your story Madhu.

    1. It really was. This was our second visit to Istanbul and the company of dear friends elevated those five days to some of the best of our lives! Had some great food as well, but no pics unfortunately. Somehow never thought to photograph food during my pre-blog days πŸ™‚ Glad you like the photos. They are just a wee bit better than my other night shots.

      1. I hadn’t noticed that there was anything less spectacular about these pictures than your daytime shots!

        Five days with friends in an exotic and sophisticated city like Istanbul sounds like a wonderful holiday. What a nice thing to do. To have had this impromptu concert the icing on the cake … no, I should say the syrup on your baklava!

        R and I made our way there in 75 (living in our van in the parking lot of the Blue Mosque), and I remember the food being wonderful, but I guess there’s a whole new level of restaurants and eating destinations these days!

  2. To begin with, I love that tower … what a magnificent work of art! I’ll bet this is an experience you will never forget. Giving a CD away in return for a tip is a smart move on behalf of the band, too. No doubt, they will obtain quite a bit of exposure through their generosity. πŸ™‚ Another great share, Madhu … as always. Have a great day!

    1. Thank you Marcy. I love that tower too. We had missed it on an earlier visit with a tour group and were determined to see it this time.

  3. What fun! Your evening was full of pleasant surprises, and what sound like very happy memories. Thank you for sharing some of them.


  4. I agree, Madhu, a concert by the Galata Tower is terribly romantic, the boys were quite wrong πŸ˜‰ Lovely piece on Turkish rhythm. xxx

    1. Glad you liked it Ailsa.
      Rhythm of place for me would have to be the Syrtaki from Greece actually! Every time I listen to the strains of ‘Zorba’s Dance’, I am transported to the magical alleys of the Plaka! I didnt have pictures to illustrate it though.

    1. Thanks Nicole. I am surprised I took these pics. I rarely did in the evenings or when we sat down to a meal, before I started this blog!

  5. Madhu, the photos are enchanting, and the evening sounds wonderful too. I always enjoy hearing the stories woven into the post, and you do that so well.

  6. Magical evening!

    The spontaneous events of the evening have been captured beautifully and will be etched in our minds forever!

    Thank you for the pictures Madhu.

    1. Sabina, meant to send you a link πŸ™‚
      We did have a grand time didn’t we? Maybe you and I should plan another trip together sometime!

      1. Madhu, I am game.

        You are a walking encyclopedia….I guess now I should say…you dont need to google with you around!!

        Glad to see your talent is being appreciated.

        How about a mediterranean cruise?

  7. Hi,
    What a magnificent tower, and it does look stunning at night, and what a night you had, seems it turned out to be a lot of fun. πŸ™‚
    Great photos.

  8. I always love following the music to all tourist spots. They really should not be underestimate as part of the locations.

    1. Absolutely Rommel. We always make it a point to buy local music CD’s as souvenirs. Thanks for stopping by.

  9. That is one wonderful coincidence for you? (And for us too, since you had your camera!) Thanks for sharing, Madhu! Love this post πŸ™‚

  10. Instead of buying souvenirs from my travels, I do what you did. I bring back the music that I heard instead, in whatever form I can find it. That way, when I play the music, I am brought back to the time and place I first heard it. Street musician CDs are a fun way to do this…in Italy, I followed music that was piped down the streets to a local music store where I asked what was playing. The owner of the store popped it out of the player and gave it to me! It ended up being a Viennese waltz that I heard in Italy…but now, they represent the same memory to me.

    1. We have a mini collection too πŸ™‚ Music transports us back to a place we loved more than any photo or artefact! Thank you for sharing your thoughts Rufina

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