Turkey, the Eclipse & Vienna in 2006

March 24: Istanbul

The Grand Bazaar &
a visit to Istanbul in Asia


March 25
More in Istanbul

March 26
And more of Istanbul

March 27
Istanbul to Antalya
March 28
Antalya to Olympos
March 29
March 30
Olympos to Kalkan
March 31
Kalkan to Fethiye

April 1
Fethiye to Pamukkale

April 2
Pamukkale to Kusadasi
April 3
Kusadasi to Istanbul
April 4
April 6
Today we spent the morning wandering on our own in the Grand Bazaar. There are said to be around 4000 shops (rugs, lamps, leather, ceramics, souvenirs, silver, jewelry, hookah pipes, etc.) and restaurants in the many rows of color and crowds. Friendly bantering is a big part of this very social place. Some portions of this covered market have been there for several centuries. It is certainly an exciting and vibrant place.

After lunch we took a guided bus tour across the Bosphorus Bridge (Istanbul's Golden Gate) to the Asian shore. We drove to a hilltop with a park overlooking the Sea of Marmara and the Bosphorus. Since the day was drizzly and overcast we could not get any view pictures.

We then went down the hill and visited the Beylerbeyi Sarayi. This is the 30-room summer palace built by the Sultan Abdul Aziz in the latter part of the 19th century. There are bathing pavilions and wonderful doors or gates leading to long docks along the Bosphorus. The decor (paint, carpets, wood floors, furniture, Bohemian chandeliers, Ming vases, etc.) was elegant and extravagant.
It was here we learned that clocks in many of these official places are still set and stopped at the time of Ataturk's death — 9:05 am, November 10, 1938. We learned throughout our trip about what a hero he was for the people of Turkey. He altered the social, cultural, economic, political and legal structure of the country.