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October 17th 2014
Published: October 17th 2014
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ISTANBUL. 17.10.14. Beautiful Weather

This morning we received marvellous news fro George, that she had passed her third exam of the Chartered Qualification, an exam she was very concerned about. A great achievement and one that got us off to a good start for the day.

Today we visited the other side of the Golden Horn, taking the tram across the Galata bridge to the station end at Kabatas. The tram route ran adjacent to the Bosphorus. At the tram end we then took a funicular which ran uphill inside the mountain to Taksim Sq, or Independence Sq, the scene of Turkish protests. Near the square we fell upon the most amazing pastry store, HAFIZ MUSTAFA in business since 1864. Unfortunately it was too early for sweets!! Wandered back along Istiklal Cadesi, a pedestrian mall and tramway, past fashionable shops and eateries. Fell upon the Galata Tower quite by accident, ( only the most famous tower in Istanbul) then onto the port crossing the Galata Bridge back across the Golden Horn to Eminou. A very interesting morning and area, and quite different to the old historic area of Sultanahmet. Crossing the bridge we spied at least six massive mosques built during the prime Ottoman period in the 1500-1700s.

We returned to the hotel for a quick stop then ventured down to the nearby Topkapi Palace, the domaine of the Ottoman Sultans, their wives and concubines, and the palace court. A magnificent array of buildings and grounds. The palace kitchens fed 4000 palace employees daily. The food quantities were listed and were astounding. Made us wonder how much foodstuff is required to feed a city of 10 million people ( Istanbul's current population). The palace housed the treasury, which held ancient treasures and the hair of Mohamed, the staff of Moses, the turban of Abraham, and property of Joseph and John. All are prophets of Islam and important saints of Christendom and Judaism.

We then started to tire after a busy day so purchased a couple of Efes beers, a delightful refreshing beer, before adjourning for a well deserved rest.

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