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Jacqui’s Travel Diary

Monday, 25 Jun 2007

Location: Istanbul, Turkey

MapBack in Istanbul! We have fallen in love wit the city and donít want to leave.
We had a whole day dedicated to the Grand Bazaar and went a bit crazy. Think we were there for about 6hrs! It is a crazy place, you are lost wihin five seconds, I think there is about 4kms of shops. We certainly practiced our bargaining skills and were finally able to buy all those things we had been admiring the whole trip but didnít want to carry.
Next day we saw Topkapi Palace, home of the Sultans of the Ottoman empire, and it was every bit as grand and exotic as you would expect it to be. It was covered wall to wall with the Turkish style white and blue tiles which were dazzling. The harem was the highlight, you got to see all the baths and secret rooms that were for the sultans eyes only, and the beautiful rooms that the women lived in. There was a treasury display which was a feast of diamonds and precious stones covering jewelery, swords thrones etc etc.
We also dropped in to see the Spice Bazaar, also known as the Egyptian bazaar. This was a lot more tarditoinal (not like the shopping mallof the garnd bazaar) and sold all your delicious Turkish Delights, spices and srange love potions.
Our last day in Istanbul was so hot it made us very glad we hadnít come any later in summer. We walked around the harbour where all the local men like to go, strip of their undies and lay on the rocks, it was a bit scary! It was a nice walk, it took s to places of the city that we hadnít been to before. We found our way to Galatta bridge which has cafes and restaurants underneath it. We found a cool bar with bean bags and sat here for hours watching the sunset and drinking cocktails (although to start with the waiter got our order wrong and bought us milkshakes instead of margaritasÖ he must have been crazy). Perfect way to end a perfect holiday!