Turkey: Topkapi Palace and the Grand Bazaar
After being woken up by the 5A call to prayer, I was up and ready to face the day by 8AM. The early morning singing and praying had startled me a little bit yesterday, but part of me was prepared for it today (not that it made it any easier to be woken up from a dead sleep at 5A.) We started our morning with an early breakfast and then headed out to the Topkapi Palace by 930A. The Palace was the seat of the sultans for 400 of 600 years of their reign and the place is a sight to be seen. Not only is it huge, it’s gorgeously domineering and the views are unbeatable. They definitely had prime Turkish real estate. The entry fee was 20 lira, but they had a discount for harems: 15 lira each. Not quite sure how they check identification on that…
We were able to wander around the palace grounds for about an hour, checking out the treasury and the mini museums inside. The treasury housed some ostentatious pieces — think lamps, jewelry and chairs made of gold and gems. The bling in this place was out of control. We also got to see Mohammed’s footprint (a cast of it), plus Moses’ rod from the 13th c. BC. We were trying to figure out how they ensured the legitimacy of these things… even if it was dated, how can anyone really know that that particular rod belonged to Moses? Seems like a stretch, but I’m gonna believe it for now.
Exploring the Grand Bazaar
After that, we headed back to the Grand Bazaar for shopping session #2! I am seriously in love with the bazaar, everything about it. The shopping is pretty spectacular and there are so many amazing finds under one roof. Alex snagged her scarf and I got a few pieces for myself and for the family, including the requisite Turkish Delight. I hadn’t been the biggest Turkish Delight fan before my trip here, but I’ve developed a love for the stuff. The pomegranate and the pistachio versions are my new go-tos.
After, we stopped for a leisurely lunch and passed by a sultan’s tombs. Now we’re getting ready for our afternoon naps and are headed to see the Whirling Dervishes tonight at 730P. We’ve decided to take a trip over to Asia tomorrow mid-morning for brunch and some sightseeing before heading back to London tomorrow night.
Check out some more of my pictures from Istanbul in my album!
Love from Turkey,