21 June 2012

Topkapi Palace and Grand Bazaar

Our entry to the Palace was delayed as the band marched out
There were 2 large cruise liners in port today, but we think the crowds at Topkapi Palace would have been there anyway (the tour groups from at least one of the vessels seemed mainly to be arriving as we were leaving).    The "palace" is a series of courtyards, pavillions and sets of chambers. 

The various chambers were devoted to different purposes, such as the Throne Room, the Harem, the Imperial Treasury and the Rooms of the Relics.  So, there's a lot to see, and at times it's necessary to queue.   It took us over 4 hours to see most of it, not including the kitchens which for some reason weren't open. 
One of the courtyards

Entrance to the Harem
Lunchtime view
We had lunch at the rather expensive Konyali cafe (within the Palace), but considered we got our money's worth because of the terrific view of the Bosphorus from the terrace.

Grand Bazaar


We rounded off the afternoon by checking out the Grand  Bazaar.   Does the world really need all the scarves, leather items, gold and silver, dishes, lightshades, shoes and other things on sale here?   Not many of the stores have fixed prices, which means that you need to be confident of the value of an item before starting to bargain about the price. Some courage seems to be in order if you're buying something on the expensive side.

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