Travel is made of many encounters. Sometimes, caution is needed as you never know what are strangers intentions. Yet most of the time it is worthwhile to take a little risk and let you people lead you to new places.
Indeed, as we entered the centuries old Valide Han market, we met this tea seller. Talking exclusively in Turkish, he pointed to a dark stair leading up. We took it with a little hesitation as the decorum was reminiscient of some of the best horror movies. In the second floor, things only got better as nobody was to be seen, just the sound of a door opening here and there in the dark tunnels. Suddenly, we faced another man, sitting and busy twisting plastic pieces. Here again, a flow of Turkish words followed and him pointing to my camera and to the floor above with a key in his hand. Obviously he wanted to show us something so we followed, with growing hesitation. After going through another dark tunnel, an old iron door opened leading the way to a steep stair. We went up and suddenly here we were, on top of Valide Han with the most amazing view on Istanbul’s roofs and Galata Bridge. The little risk had paid off. (click on pictures for high res)