21 Jun 2011

ISTAMBUL DAY 6

The weather is still beautiful we have 27 °C (8? F) but it doesn't feel too hot as there is always a little wind. We decided to visit Topkapi Palace. Therefore we took the tram again. I had looked at the numbers of stops to get to Topkapi, and had counted 7. We took the tram and drove and drove and suddenly we crossed the bridge and went from Europe to Asia ! Have you ever done this with a tram for not even half a € ? Dominique who replaces my Madame GPS told me that there is something wrong because the Topkapi should be near to our hotel and now we were on an other continent. She decided we should get out and take the next tram back.

A friendly Turkish man, who by coincidence had also be a tourist guide and spoke a perfect French explained to us where we were and where we had to go. Imagine the fun we had when we discovered our mistake ! So we returned seven stops and got out at the right place !



of course we had a special reception ! a loud one too.



Sultan Arthur was also there. I thought he had stayed in Waterloo. Funny that Harem's cats are also white males !

The Topkapi Palace is enormous. In earlier times it was home to many Sultans with a well furnished Harem, of about 1000 women ! Poor man, if he had to fulfill his marital duties without any Viagra, I wonder when he had time to visit them all.

It had been transformed in 1924 into a museum of the imperial era. The palace complex has hundreds of rooms and chambers, but only the most important are accessible to the public today.



Dominique shows the entrance and I am standing under my personal golden pergola

We wandered around and looked at all these beautiful weapons decorated with diamonds, turquoise and rubies, saphires etc. One diamond was very huge and had 82 karats was first put on a ring (it probably covered half of the hand) and became then a brooch to be fixed on the Sultan's turban.

We also saw a golden cradle and many other things, but in one room we didn't go because there were so many people lined up, it would have taken at least 1 h to get into the door. It was mostly porcelain, jewelry, etc. But we didn't have the courage to line up in the heat to see some dishes, rings and bracelets or whatever was in there.


click on the pictures to biggify

A guide with a very funny umbrella, then entrance and the long line to get into one of the Palace's rooms.



visit finished

The whole tour took us more than 2 h and we were quiet tired and hungry when we finally got out. We found a cute little café where we ate our chicken Durum, the traditional turkish sandwich. Then we took the tram and returned to our hotel. I went on the roof to take a sunbath, Dominique into her bed for a little nap.

And our day ended with a nice meal in the hotel restaurant looking over Istanbul by night and listening to the 3D call for prayers. The dog had probably used earplugs or had decided not to pray anymore.

8 comments:

Whisppy said...

1000 women. That's about one each night in less than 3 years. He probably doesn't even remember their names. :)
Sultan Arthur looks adorable in his yoga pose.
How quickly time flies when you're having fun! It's already Day 6!

Linens and Royals said...

I think it is so exciting to be able to go across a bridge between Europe and Asia by mistake. You are fitting so much into your holiday. I'm sure Arthur won't approve of you taking photos of other white cats.

Gracie said...

Do you remeber the old movie with Peter Ustinov? One of my favourite!

Maribeth said...

What a marvelous day you had! And the amazing sites you saw too!

Kay L. Davies said...

Wonderful photo of the Arthur-lookalike.
What an interesting day you had, getting lost, getting found — I hope you don't mind if I say it sounds just like you, my friend!
I'm glad you're having such a lovely time on your intercontinental travels.
Luv — K

Kay, Alberta, Canada
An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

Loree said...

Your trip is so full of adventure Gattina. I was wondering whay Arthur was doing in Istanbul but now I see he is the harem's cat.

A Lady's Life said...

That must have really been a treat to visit this place.
It sounded wonderful:)

claudie said...

what a marvelous visit you had! Poor sultan! If I was a man I wouldn't want to be at his place!