Thursday, May 19, 2011

Touring Istanbul, Turkey

Here we are entering the Topkapi Palace in Istanbul, built in 1453 by the Ottoman Sultan Fatih Sultan Mehmet.  With its grounds, it's twice the size of Vatican City, and is the most visited museum in Turkey.

As you can see by this picture, everything was ornate.  The gold scrollwork design you see on the green rectangle to the side of the door is the Sultan's signature.

Here is one of the Sultan's, well, what would you call this?  ...outfits.  Notice the nice, long sleeves.  I haven't looked it up yet, but I'm assuming that showed that he didn't have to work with his hands and exuded authority and power.

Here I am outside the palace overlooking the water.  There are more than five kilometers of ancient walls around the palace.

This is a small section of the walls surrounding the palace grounds and of course protecting the Sultan.

Everywhere we went on the palace grounds it was beautiful.  And yes, it was a very windy day.  I told Gary that this particular scarf and a pink coat went against my artistic sensibilities, but... it was a cool day and I only brought one coat!  As a woman, I also needed to have a scarf handy in case I needed to cover my head.  And yes, I carried my pack like that quite a bit, especially in crowds.  I had my purse stolen in the Leonardo da Vince train station in Roma, and don't plan on letting that ever happen again!  By the way, you can see a little bit of turquoise in my hair; I colored the underside around the nape of my neck turquoise just for fun.

Had to go all the way to Turkey to find my favorite flowers in the WORLD... peonies!  I have never been one to pass a peony without a deep whiff.  Oh, so fragrant!  Better by far than roses!

As you can see in this pic, the peony-sniffing got me into trouble.  I walked around with a yellow nose for quite a while...

These two pictures are of one of the palace buildings con tulips.  We discovered that tulips did not originate in The Netherlands as this Dutch girl thought, but first came from Turkey, THEN to the Netherlands, THEN to the uttermost parts of the earth.  Live and learn!

Oh, and were they gorgeous!

Tonight I am going to leave you with this cute little girl.  It just makes me happy.  Notice the stance and her face.  Also note how close the Turkish word, bayan, is, to the Spanish word for bathroom.

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