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Istanbul - Day Two - Topkapi! Part Two PM

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Istanbul - Day Two - Topkapi! Part Two PM

The afternoon of the second day was spent at the Topkapi Palace, home of many Sultans and a place to indulge wild fantasies. It’s a big complex, and we didn’t get time to see it all, so unfortunately we had to skip the Treasury and all the jewels, but we did get to see the most important part – the harem (the apartments of the Sultan and his family).

Courtyard of the Black Eunuchs:

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The Sultan’s Mother’s apartments:

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A cosy reception room:

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The Sultan’s bedroom. Ooh er.

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The Prince's apartments:

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And the view from the Palace up the Bosphorus:

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Coffee and cat stroking break then it was the Cisterns - basically a Roman water tank. Can't help thinking of the mines of Moira...

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A couple of the columns have Gorgon head bases.

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That evening, after all the walking, we didn’t want to go far for dinner, so we went a restaurant around the corner of the Hippodrome that I liked the look of. Here, I admit I made a bit of a gaffe. See, I’d made a packed lunch for the flight just in case British Airways couldn’t get their act together, and the roll was looking a bit stale, and I was a bit hungry and I ate it. This of course lead to me spoiling my dinner, and all I could manage to eat was some chips, thereby missing the best meal of the trip. Doh.

However, I adored the restaurant itself. It was a traditional Ottoman house, refurbished as a restaurant; all tassels hanging from the ceiling, richly patterned but shabby rugs and multi-coloured lamps. It was heaving with hungry locals out celebrating Ramadan, singing along to the live singer (who at one point sung ‘Happy Birthday’ in Turkish to a Birthday party in a corner). I blame this place for our Apple tea addiction.

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During Ramadan, the Hippodrome holds a big festival, where the throng of locals go strolling amongst the lines of food vendors and craft stalls. It reminded me a bit of the Glastonbury festival, but with more meat. We stroll for a bit through all this, until my dad gets the bright idea that he wants to see the Blue Mosque up close in its floodlighting.

Like so:

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We believe it was in the mad crush through the mosque gate that he was relieved of his wallet by a pickpocket. Off went all his credit cards and cash. He wasn’t very careful though, so it doesn’t come as a big surprise.

Luckily, everything was insured, but as I went to bed, he was off to find a police station to report the theft…


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Lovely. That "cosy reception room" makes me think of Dorothy Dunnett so much. (And if you haven't read "Pawn in Frankincense" you really ought to after this trip!

Does it have Spike in? I have read precisely one book since I met Spike.

No, but its hero has cornflower blue eyes and straw-coloured hair, and he is quite superb in bed...

(You need to start with "A Game of Kings", really - it's a six-book series. Francis Crawford of Lymond is the part JM should have had a decade ago. (He's only twenty in Book One).


I love the walls of the sultan's mother's room - but cosy it is not!

Your poor father - what a hassle!

My Boss was really into turkish apple tea for a while - there is a local shop which sells the instant version - but it is loaded with sugar, so I've tried to forget its existence!!

It lacks soft furnishings, I agree.

I brought back some pomegranate tea too, though lord knows what it's like.

though lord knows what it's like.

Pomegranate? Just a wild guess though!

I blame this place for our Apple tea addiction.

Is there anyone who's been to Turkey and not got addicted to that stuff? I remember bringing a bag back when we went a while ago, and with every cup I made I'd sneak another teaspoon in my cup. Of course, it ran out pretty quickly that way.

The Sultan’s bedroom. Ooh er.

You make me laugh so much...

You can get Apple Tea on Ebay.

Ooh... but no, I shall resist. Besides, with my luck end up with apple-flavoured Lipton or something.

Yay for a proper holiday and glad to hear you are home safely. I've just looked over your last few posts and your pictures are amazing. Sorry to hear about your dad's problems. I hope it all got worked out, but what a pain to deal with.

How is the ear doing and how are you feeling?

The ear was okay, but I'm still partially deaf in it.

My dad is insured, it's just the hassle of it all.

wonderful pics, yet again. Glad you're home safe and sound. Sorry about the situation with your father; hope it's better.

thanks again for the beautiful pics.

He's sanguine. He's always losing stuff, so while it was annoying, it wasn't holiday destroying.

Courtyard of the Black Eunuchs - that really needs to find its way into a fic. :-)

Imagine living in that place! Wow.

>>Courtyard of the Black Eunuchs - that really needs to find its way into a fic

That's a job for jans_intentions

I blame this place for our Apple tea addiction.
Relatives brought me some back from Turkey so I can well appreciate this.
Your poor Dad! It's such a shocking experience.
I love the photos - especially the apartments. The blues are so beautiful. Thanks again for sharing.

Not so shocking, he's always losing the damn thing.

Hmmm, I don't know that I would consider those apartments as living in the lap of luxury. Even the decor would drive me crazy - so busy!

I'm craving apple tea. Never had it but I love tea and it sounds amazing. I'll have to see if I can find any around.

My mother went to Ecuador last year and was getting on a bus. She was having difficulty getting her carry bag onto the rack above and a nice gentleman offered to help her. As you may have guessed the bag wasn't on the rack when she went to get it. She was traveling with my brother (and I wish I knew where the h--- was when this happened) so she was ok money-wise. She took it in stride. I was much more upset about it when I learned afterward I think.

I'm glad the day was nice otherwise, though.

Hope you learned your lesson, about eating between meals, though 8D

>>I don't know that I would consider those apartments as living in the lap of luxury. Even the decor would drive me crazy - so busy!

But if the alternative is a hovel or the gutter...

Apple tea is lovely, but very sweet. You can get in on Ebay I've found.

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/The-Original-Turkish-Apple-Tea-700-grams-1-4-lbs_W0QQitemZ4405508702QQcategoryZ38180QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem


True, I would prefer the apartments to the Gutter or even I suspect most of the homes - but I would get a different interior decorator for sure.

Its funny - I went to Ebay last night and searched on Apple Tea and found nothing but teapots with an apple motif. You have to include the word Turkish to get the actual tea.

I think you can find it cheaper elsewhere. I looked around on the net a little. I think I'm going to poke around in some of the International Market shops. Most of them bring in stuff from China and India but I might find the tea there and get away from the awful shipping costs.

It's not tea in the normal sense. It's more granular.

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