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Day 2 - Topkapi Palace


Staying in Taksim we were a little out of the centre of the action, certainly as far as the backpacker scene was concerned. It was just as well that Rhami and I had hooked up, we barely saw another soul in this neck of the woods who wasnt a Turk, why they all chose to stay at this grungy hostel god only knew. After a trek up the main pedestrianised drag Istiklal Caddesi in search of a bus to the sights, we sussed after a while that there wasnt one. The tram up this way had been re-routed and the bus discontinued, a crazy affair. We found out the hard way that if we'd only turned the other way from the hostel we would have pretty quickly come across the Tunel, a tiny subterranean one carriage funicular train which trundled up and down the hill all day to Karakoy, the end of the Galata Bridge with adjacent tram stop. The ultra modern tram took us to Sultanahmet, Istanbul's jewel encrusted southern peninsula where spoilt for choice, we settled first for a tour of the Topkapi Palace, residence of many a long gone Sultan. Words cannot describe what this place was like but suffice to say it was reminiscent of some of the great palaces of Europe, all gold leaf, marble and opulence. It was just a little different in its oriental style and indeed the dynasty had had an obvious penchance for Japanese ware.
More incredible still was the massive collection of heirlooms which had been appropriated as gifts from all over the world.

Later we took in the Blue Mosque for good measure.....

Posted by andyhay 00:00 Archived in Turkey

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