After being woken up by the 5A call to prayer, I was up and ready to face the day by 8. 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, apparently, and the place is phenomenal! Not only is it huge, but it’s gorgeous 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 ridiculously ostentatious stuff — 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 13c 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.
After that, we headed back to the Grand Bazaar for shopping session #2! I am seriously in love with the bazaar… the shopping is so amazing and there are so many amazing things under one roof! Alex snagged her scarf and I got a few goodies for myself and for the fam, including delicious Turkish delight. I hadn’t been the biggest Turkish delight fan before my trip here, but I’m definitely loving the stuff. The pomegranate and the pistachio versions are seriously delish!
After, we stopped for a leisurely lunch and passed by 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,