talk with excitement of driving round and round all the way up a
mountain, others wax poetic about cliffside walks, gazing down to
a foaming sea and waves crashing on rocks. Still others sky dive,
zip line, bungee jump...
Not for me.
Yet if I have a railing to hold on to, and can climb a height on
my own two feet, I will at least make the attempt.
In this fashion
- holding onto iron bars studded in the walls - I've made it up
the tower of many an English castle and along the edges of caverns
and waterfalls in Canada and the United States.
In Turkey, the closest I've come to heights is driving along the
coast roads of the Aegean Sea, and once I had the chance to do the
same in Corsica, along the Balearic Sea. Both times, I held onto
my seat with a grip of steel, as if at any moment I might go hurtling
over the cliffs and into the waters far below.
Which, I suppose,
is the real fear behind a fear of heights. My most recent experience
was ascending the height of the new Istanbul Sapphire skyscraper.
At 236 metres, it is one of the tallest buildings in Europe - not
normally a place I would visit. Being with a group of excited friends
doesn't help either. What if they get too excited and start trying
I made it up
the elevator with everyone and then, once we came out on the observation
deck, let them all move ahead of me.
There I was,
inching along the walls, trying to hide from the fierce wind that
was ready to pick me up and throw me over the ledge.
But the view!
No one could resist this: all of Istanbul laid out below you, as
if you were looking down at a living map, or an animated model.
is, on any trip, I'm the designated photographer. I've got the patience,
and remember to always take at least one or two snapshots in each
place. So, with one foot wedged against the wall, one arm braced
around the railing, head tilted against the wind, I looked out over
Istan-bul and took as many photographs as I could.
And lived to
tell about it.
by Deniz B. Bevan:
Pâté or Pouding Chômeur
Ice Apple Wine
Montreal Is An Island
Ideas for Your 'Staycation'
Istanbul: I Only Have Two Days To See Everything!
Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Bladeby
Approaching Ireland by ferry...
Just Plain Nesin