Friday, March 25, 2011

Thursday, March 24

Today, Eve and I walked up toward Takim Square to find a place for breakfast. Cem told us about this fast-food joint near the square called Bambi's. We had the usual tea and a passing menemen.


We then walked back to Juliet and Cems apartment and picked up the rest of the crowd. We walked up to Istiklal and then down in the direction of the Tunel.

I had to take a picture of this "My dear liver", "Mein lieber Leber", "Mon cher foie" (double entendre: both dear and expensive, which of course it is after a night on the town. Or even "dearly departed liver."

We sat around sipping Turkish coffee while the kids ate their breakfast.

View of the Golden Horn from the top of the Galata tower. The walls are about 12 feet thick. There is an elevator to the restaurant and then somewhat of a climb to get to the top. The view is spectacular.

We proceeded to walk down in the direction of the Galata Bridge. On the way, I took this picture looking back at the tower and we then proceeded to a musical instrument store, where I purchased a duduk for a friend.

We walked across the Galata Bridge and took a taxi from there to the Hagia Sophia--on the side facing the Topkapi Palace.

Entrance to the Topkapi Palace. This is where the Sultan and his family stayed until 1853, when the state administrative site moved to the Dolmabahce Palace on the Bosporus.

The Imperial Council building. The Sultan sat behind a barrier and listened to the discussions of his advisors. He then met with representatives and OK'd or opposed their decisions.

Another view of the Imperial Council building.

We ate lunch at the museum cafeteria. The food was very mediocre, extremely overpriced, but the view was spectacular.

The sultan's throne.

We toured the prophet's relics room. These included small containers of the Prophet Mohammed's hair, Abraham's staff, etc. Other rooms contained jewelry, including a 170-carat diamond and some very impressive jewelry with enormous emeralds and garnets set in gold and/or silver.

This pavilion was built to commemorate the Baghdad Campaign in 1638. There is a stove in the center given to the Sultan by Louix XIV.

The circumcision room was built in the 17th century for the circumcision of the crown princes.

Afterward, we took a taxi to the dock, where we boarded a boat to go up the Bosporus toward the Black Sea. We basically repeated the walk of several days previous, this time in reverse.

The Galata side of the Bosporus is lined by docks, abandoned buildings, the Dolmabahce Palace, and docking areas for small boats.

Cem's senior prom was held in this building.

We crossed the Bosporus and came back toward town.

We came back to town. This view of the Asian side (Anatolia) shows some of the very large mansions. The large yellow mansion one-third of the way in from the left edge is where Juliet works, serving as a nanny/teacher to the children of a wealthy family.

After the boat trip, we took the tunel up to Istaklal. The tunel is the second oldest subway in the world, second only to London's. We ate dinner in an expensive restaurant located high above the town.


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