Week 9

Week 9

Friday May 22nd

Sites Visited: Topkapi Palace, Grand Bazaar.

Where did we stay tonight?: Istanbul

Leaders: Kait Barber and Chris Johnson

After sleeping in and enjoying a long breakfast, we gathered at 10 am to meet our tour guide and head over to Topkapi Palace.  Along with hoards of school children and tourists we made our way through several gateways and gardens into the heart of the Topkapi palace complex.  After a brief introduction on the different parts of the palace, we had time to explore the exhibits and feast our eyes upon the crown jewels, holy Islamic relics, and Sultan costumes.  The kitchen alone had 20 chimneys and had room to feed up to 12,000 people.  Among the most spectacular of the pieces were the two 105 pound solid gold candlesticks and an 86-carat diamond.  The diamond, known as the spoon-maker’s diamond, was first found and traded to a spoon-maker for only 3 spoons.  The palace also has an exhibition of Islamic holy relics, including the staff of Moses, sword of David, and a footprint of the Prophet Muhammad.

After seeing the incredible exhibits and breathtaking views of the Bosporus, we headed to the Grand Bazaar. At the Grand Bazaar, we said goodbye to our tour guide and were sent free to explore the Bazaar and bargain to our heart’s content.  We left with our wallets lighter and our arms full of scarves, tiles, jewelry, soccer jerseys, fezzes, leather jackets, teas, and Turkish coffees.

We all split off to enjoy our last (tear!) night in Istanbul.  Some traveled over to Taksim Square in Beyoglu, the hip shopping and dining neighborhood.  Although two FSPers enjoyed the Star Trek 3, others chose to experience a more traditional Turkish evening and ate at Marco Pasha, a restaurant with delicious stuffed flatbread.

Foxy video:

Day 62 Photo Gallery:

Cats in phylax formation at a gate in Topkapi palace.

Cats in phylax formation at a gate in Topkapi palace.

Hordes of schoolchildren descend upon Topkapi palace.

Hordes of schoolchildren descend upon Topkapi palace.

Chris and Kate navigate the hordes outside Topkapi Palace.

Chris and Kate navigate the hordes outside Topkapi Palace.

In the outer gardens of Topkapi Palace with Bartch, our tour guide for the morning.

In the outer gardens of Topkapi Palace with Bartch, our tour guide for the morning.

Chris takes notes at Topkapi.

Chris takes notes at Topkapi.

Model of the palace.

Model of the palace.

Jason gets a picture of the magnificence of the palatial grounds.

Jason gets a picture of the magnificence of the palatial grounds.

Ben and Jerry befriend yet another FSP feline.

Ben and Jerry befriend yet another FSP feline.

The main hallway of the bazaar in Istanbul.

The main hallway of the bazaar in Istanbul.

Kait, Charlie, Alex M., and KT inside the Grand Bazaar.

Kait, Charlie, Alex M., and KT inside the Grand Bazaar.

The calm before a frenzy of uninhibited consumerist gluttony in the Grand Bazaar!

The calm before a frenzy of uninhibited consumerist gluttony in the Grand Bazaar!

The entrance to the old portion of the Istanbul bazaar.

The entrance to the old portion of the Istanbul bazaar.

Cool old stuff in the Grand Bazaar.

Cool old stuff in the Grand Bazaar.

Kate peruses the various chatckes and baubles on offer.

Kate peruses the various chatckes and baubles on offer.

An old illustration from a prayer book in the Grand Bazaar.

An old illustration from a prayer book in the Grand Bazaar.

Charlie in the Grand Bazaar.

Charlie in the Grand Bazaar.

Jerry haggles with a Turkish salesman.

Jerry haggles with a Turkish salesman.

Ben and his Fez salesman.

Ben and his Fez salesman.

Fez friend in the Grand Bazaar.

Fez friend in the Grand Bazaar.

Alex M. embraces the local culture.

Alex M. embraces the local culture.

Dinner out around Taksim square in Istanbul.

Dinner out around Taksim square in Istanbul.

Downtown near Taksim square.

Downtown near Taksim square.

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