Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Istanbul: Gulhane Park - Cool and Green

Gulhane Park, outside the Topkapi Palace wall, and entered through a stone archway from the street, then through a wrought iron gate (with police manning same), is a green and cool escape from the crowded sidewalks, restaurant and shop touts, vehicle traffic, and the sun.

The plane trees, similar to sycamores, with a dull yellow skin underneath the loose bark, line the park's main pedestrian thoroughfare. You immediately feel good when you see these trees lining the paved path.

Occasionally, flaps of loose bark fall to the pavement. (Once, a tourist was killed by one of the trees when it fell.)

There are offshoots from the main walkway that get little traffic and are very quiet.

Except for the birds. If Gulhane were in a different country, I'd think there were monkeys up in the canopy. Beautiful sounds.

The other evening, when I sat on a bench next to the Topkapi wall, I looked up to see storks circling the treetops. The foliage was so thick, I couldn't see where they nested. Although not nearly as large, these storks reminded me of the storks in Awassa.

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