Dag 5
the Dolmabahçe Palace, the Hippodrome (eating corn and chestnuts and having shoes shined), the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Art, the Grand Bazaar, tea in Lale Bahçe teagarden

the Dolmabahçe palace

This palace was built in the 18th century competing in abundancy with European palaces like Versailles. The reigning Sultan, Abdülmecit , moved here from the Topkapi palace.
Accidentally we enter the palace through a window (it looked like the obvious entrance from where we were putting on the plastic covers around our shoes) and subsequently accidentally join a Dutch travelgroup (automatically following the direction in Dutch "Deze kant op alstublieft") with a nice Turkish/Dutch tourguide ("Haydi haydi/walk on, walk on"). A fortunate coincidence, because now Eva (who doesn't speak English yet) can understand everything as well.

...but first that morning we had a grand breakfast (the last) in the Yasmak Sultan. We took photos and a video (including seagulls and boats, commented by Roos - in Dutch of course).

You have to be accompanied by a tour guide to enter (English guide provided by the museum is included in the ticket), with covers around your shoes. You still cannot stray from the carpet, have to keep moving on at the showcases with the tableware etc. and can't make photos either. Every time I even think of doing it anyway (small camera, no flash, big group) a guard looks at me knowingly (apparently), so I don't dare it after all. There is an abundancy of photos in the travelguides anyway, like those of the crystal staircase or the hugest chandelier (click here or here for a sample from wikipedia).
Right here just some pictures from the outside
of Topkapi palace.

The Hippodrome

By tram, to which we are now totally accustomed, we are back across the Golden Horn, in Sultanahmet, in no time. We alight at the Hippodrome, a large parklike plaza in the middle of the old city center, in Roman times this was the place of the horseraces (among other things).
We buy some souvenirs (like the miniature at the top) and go eating roasted corn and chestnuts at last (Eva corn, Roos chestnuts). Meanwhile Nico has his shoes shined, this we meant to do all the time but finally do today, our last day in Istanbul.

This museum, housed in a former palace, contains lots of artefacts from the islamic world, especially from Turkey.
We went there in the first place to see some miniatures (photo's left (magical)and above). There also are lots of carpets and, downstairs, a department with different 18th century Turkish interiors(including a nomad-tent)

That night we enjoy an "Ottoman" meal at a restaurant right around the corner on Ibni Kemal Caddesi, "Pasazade". We did not make photos there but they have a website of their own, from which I took the photo below. The roofterrace, that looks so inviting on their website, was still closed when we visited (early may). But inside it was nice as well, painted like a Turkish village. And tasty.

Museum of Turkish and Islamic art

Once more the Grand Bazaar

In the afternoon we go to the grand bazaar, and now we mean business (i.e. buying covers for cushions etc.-click here for a complete & illustrated list of our souvenirhunt).
Photo to the right (top)on the way to the bazaar, one of the northside streets. The streets surrounding the Bazaar are at least as interesting as the Bazaar itself.

In the end we go past the university gardens (we are not allowed to go through, a pity)towards the Süleymaniye Camii, the Süleymaniye Mosque, which we did not visit altough it seems to be worthwhile (we leave that for the next time). Here we saw the waterseller who adorns the cover of the ANWB-Extra guidebook.
We go past the mosque, to Lahle Bahçe, a teagarden below streetlevel(photo below). A nice place to relax- lounging in the cushions.
And the day after this we flew home, from the airport on the Asian side(Sabiha Gökcen).
Through the window we had a good view of Istanbul. So long!

day 1:

day 2:

day 3:

day 4:

day 5:


Even further: photos and travelogues of other travels: