We arrived Sunday night and took a taxi to our hotel in Sultanahmet, which is the oldest part of the city and home to the most well-known tourist sites. We went out for a delicious dinner of mezze on this street full of restaurants and bars. Total tourist trap, but we still had a blast. We went to a hookah bar after dinner and watched the crowds begin to die down. After a couple of drinks, we made our way back to our hotel.
Monday we started our day at the Tokpaki Palace. This huge palace housed the Sultan for around four centuries during the height of the Ottoman empire. The palace takes up a huge chunk of the peninsula that comprises the old part of Istanbul and the Sultans definitely lived high and mighty. The grounds were gorgeous, but the buildings and the tiles inside were even more amazing.
Islamic tradition does not allow for Koranic figures to be depicted. Therefore, you
|The grounds of the Topkopi Palace|
|Interestingly, to me at least, the columns came from different marble|
and none of the expensive cararra marble you see in Italy.
|Not sure what this says, but it's beautiful|
|Awful picture of us with a great view of the Bosphorus|
|The tile work was really amazing|
|Gorgeous golden gate in the Harem|
|These stone mosaic paths were really neat and changed patterns|
|This was the crown prince's room. The picture does not do it justice|
|Even the drains in the courtyard were stylized.|
|Another view from Topkapi palace|
|This huge church, on the palace grounds, somehow escaped from ever being converted to a mosque, |
so it remains in the same state from hundreds of years ago
|Blue Mosque (detail)|
|View of Hagia Sofia from Blue Mosque|
|Where is the quick brown fox?|
|An ancient Egyptian obelisk - no idea how it came to be here.|
|Cowboy boots in Turkey|