After a leisurely breakfast at our hotel (Stayed up way too late thanks to Turkish coffee) we made the short walk to Topkapi Palace. It took a while to get through the gates, and to get an audio guide you need cash. Once in the palace, we were overwhelmed with the beauty!
|Soldier playing with a stray dog|
|Entrance to Topkapi Palace|
|Even the ceilings were impressive|
We had lunch within the palace with a gorgeous view!
|View of the Bosphorus Strait from our lunch table|
|My traveling partner|
|spices for lunch|
|our lunch mate|
|the waiter--so dapper!|
|walkway in the harem|
|Courtyard of the harem|
Some of the things in the palace are more than 1,000 years old. We even saw one of the world's largest diamonds -- the Spoonmaker's Diamond.
More than anything, I loved the tile in Istanbul, and especially Topkapi Palace. Here is a collage of my favorite patterns.
|Evening view from our hotel of the Bosphorus|
We spent more than 4 hours in Topkapi Palace. After resting up, we went to a wonderful restaurant near our hotel in Sultanahmet Square called Palatium. We had good food--the best of our trip--and wine, and the atmosphere was really special. You can sit at tables, or on poufs on the rug smoking hookah. We also had baklava and ice cream--AMAZING.
Our waiter showed us what lay beneath the restaurant. There was plexiglass to show ruins below. We went down there and saw remnants of tunnels and rooms built by Romans 1,700 years ago! These rooms linked to the Sultan's quarters in Topkapi Palace.
|love the pattern|
We admired Turkish chandeliers the previous day at the bazaars. I figured I would just buy one when I got home, but the prices were much much higher for smaller chandeliers. We stopped in a shop and found the perfect chandelier, but didn't know how we'd get it home. The shop owners quickly offered to bubble wrap our purchase and they did a great job--served us tea while they did it too! We lovelovelove this chandelier. We need to fix the electrical connections before we can put it in our home, but we can't wait to put it up!
|Lamp in the restaurant|
|My fish. So good!|
|bread and hummus|
|baklava and ice cream|