Istanbul – the Grand Bazaar and Topkapi Palace

Saturday, Sept 19, 2015 –

After meeting up with Jordan and Amanda, my friends visiting from Seattle, we walked to the Grand Bazaar to shop, shop, shop!  While the Bazaar has lost the feel of an extremely large farmer’s market that I remember from the 1980s, it is still a wonderful place to explore.  My friends proved to be masters at the art of bargaining.   The Bazaar can be an exhausting place to visit–so many corridors to follow, only so many hours in a day.

Entrance to Grand Bazaar Entrance to Grand Bazaar2 The maze that is the Bazaar Heidi, Amanda, Jordan having fun! Glass lamps

We slowed things down a bit at Topkapi Palace, the home of many sultans from the late 1400s to the mid 1800s.   With views of the Bosphorus and the Sea of Marmara, it was a beautiful residence and after extensive renovations, continues to be a top tourist site in Istanbul.  Although we didn’t have a chance to see the jewels in the Treasury or the museum, there were so many impressive rooms to visit with tiled walls that we could look at for hours.  I believe all four photos here were taken inside and just outside the Circumcision Room, which was reserved for performing the procedure on the young princes.

IMG_1680 IMG_1684 Topkapi - Tiles in the Circumcision Room Topkapi - Circumcision Room

The grounds are large so we wandered from building to building, looking in on the kitchens with their great iron soup pots standing as tall as a kitchen table and the elaborate dinnerware fit for a sultan or visiting monarch.  The armory has some very large swords.   I didn’t get photos but check them out online; not sure how a person could both hold the immense weapons aloft AND use them effectively in battle!

Random pics from around the Palace.  The first is an exterior shot of a door at the Enderun Library.

Topkapi - Enderun Library built in 1719 IMG_1674 IMG_1682 IMG_1676 IMG_1687IMG_1670

To end this post, I leave you with the photo of a joyous couple walking just outside our hostel later Saturday evening.

Bride and groom

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