Thursday, April 3, 2014

Last Day in Istanbul

Best way to start your last day in Istanbul is with a cup of fresh squeezed orange/ grapefruit juice!!  Our kids are hooked but I can't say I blame them!  Plus for $0.50 for a cup, who can say no?!?  Opa was sick this morning (we think he got the stomach bug Ethan and I have been passing around) so he stayed behind at the flat and the rest of us set out to explore the shops and
Our main stop for today was the Topkapi Palace.  We headed there like many other tourist and turns out many school groups.  Turns out our kids ended up being a main tourist attraction for a lot of the students.  It didn't help that both boys were wearing their Turkey soccer jerseys so a lot of people were asking me if they were fans and would tell me that this was their favorite team.  I felt bad admitting that we had NO IDEA what team this was, we merely like to collect jerseys from where we travel! : )
The Topkapı Palace  is a large palace in Istanbul, Turkey, that was the primary residence of the Ottoman Sultans for approximately 400 years (1465-1856) of their 624-year reign wikipedia
The palace complex consists of four main courtyards and many smaller buildings. At its peak, the palace was home to as many as 4,000 people,[2] and covered a large area with a long shoreline. It contained mosques, a hospital, bakeries, and a mint.
Now, many of the buildings are museums and hold very expensive and sacred treasures and you are not allowed to take pictures.  So, I don't have many things to show from this trip besides the fun pictures we took outside!
Some of the amazing things we saw besides the large amounts of emaralds and other fine jewels are a lot of religious items including, David's Sword, Moses's Staff, Muhammed's cloak and sword, strands of Muhammed's beard and a chip of his tooth.  Amazing!
Rooms were filled with many items to see and many people anxious to see them.  For the kids and I, that got to be a bit much, so we spent a lot of our time outside enjoying the beautiful garden while Brad, Nina and Auntie MaryAnn walked around and saw all of the treasures!
And if you ask me, these next to statues were my favorite on the property!! : )
Standing still and not cracking a smile isn't easy for this one but she managed to be an adorable statue!
All of that walking stirred up our appetites, Turkish pizza was on the menu!!!
All of the food we have had has been more than amazing!!!  We have tried many new things and have loved everything!!!  From here, we split up.  The ladies decided that Brad and I deserved some time to ourselves so they took the kids on the long walk home while Brad and I went on our our adventure.
We headed over to a hotel for a couple's Turkish Bath!! What an experience that was!!!  Laying on hot marble, being scrubbed down by a man in a towel, having cold water poured over you, and being covered in tons of bubbles!!!  Amazing!!  From there we took a slow walk over the bridge, stopped for a beer, and talked about all of the fun we have had in Istanbul!!!  What an adventure!

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