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Published: October 22nd 2017
Ah, ah, ah, ah, ah...
Choooo! Anyone want to share my corn? It has been reported by at least two different people in Istanbul that you should never share a water bottle with the pictured individual. He has been observed "backwashing" into communal water bottles. They say you can taste the "tang." Ewwwwww. Then again, when did you really ever trust the report of a sibling?
Geo: 41.1075, 28.7079
Today was Topkapi Palace day. We had a lazy morning and didn't rush to get out of the room. It had been a pretty late night on Wednesday going to watch the movie and we were all tired. Some combination of more sleep, a more relaxed schedule, the lecture the children heard from me about whining and becoming more accustomed to Istanbul made the beans much more pleasant to be around today. They've been doing well, but there was room for improvement. They all can easily walk 5 or 6 miles each day so there is no reason to whine for the first mile. It just makes it seem longer for all of us.
I'm sure the kids will have a lot to report, but I'll try and pick up a few things they may have missed. We saw a marker today that was used as the point from which all distances were measured in the Empire. It didn't mention which empire, but I'm guessing Byzantine. At any rate, I thought it was an interesting concept.
Topkapi Palace was a nice place to spend the day. It is very gardenlike and a nice change from the bustle and dirt of the
city. Mike and I had to laugh when we saw the carpet guy from the first day out in front of the Palace looking for prospective carpet buyers. What a racket! Everyone here appears to be in some kind of business. There are guys out on the street who have nothing but a scale and will weigh you for a fee. There was another guy with rabbits in a box and you could pet them, take pictures of them and get your fortune told for a few lira. I snapped a picture without paying. Whoops.
I'm going to guess that the big hits for the day were buying tops and watching the cook make our pides for dinner tonight. Another high point may have been the guy at the spice bazaar who kept handing them bits of Turkish delight to try. I bought a half a kilo of mixed Delight, some pink peppercorns and some tarragon. As I was typing, I was wondering how much longer it would be until the kids asked me if they could have a piece of it. As it turned out, the answer was not even until the end of that sentence. I think Josh reads
Into the Harem
The harem quarters inside the Topkapi Palace are a separate tour and worth the effort. Harem means family and what you see are the extensive family quarters from eating areas and bedrooms to the royl privy.
I was not terribly impressed with the cafe where we went for lunch, but was interested to try it out. It's called the Pudding Shop and it's located off Sultanahment Square. It's known for its history as a hippy hangout in the late 1960s. There's a story about some guys heading east in a VW microbus meeting up there and needing an extra seat for the bus. The owner of the shop lent them a chair until they came back through town. True or not, it's a good story.
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