The Grand Bazaar
Apparently you are crazy if you go to Istanbul and don't visit the Grand Bazaar, so of course we had to go. The only thing that slightly worried me was that both the guidebook and the hotel receptionist said that it was very easy to get lost in it, despite the sign posts. When looking at the picture of the Bazaar in Dorling Kindersley I understood why. It is enormous - a great warren of passages! We went despite the warnings, but decided to only go in a straight line so we could find our way out. It worked and we safely reached the other side without getting lost, and had a wonderful time looking at all the stalls. I bought two shawls to wear with my Regency gowns.
One of the entrances to the Grand Bazaar
One of the passages
The Dolmabahce Palace
In 1856 Sultan Abdui Mecit decided to build himself a grand new palace by the sea. The result is a magnificent building, with rather OTT interior decoration, but very much Victorian in style. It is now a museum but one of the rooms - an insanely big one which I first thought was a small cathedral - is used by the government on special occasions.
Detail of pattern on the entrance gate
The front - this view is deceiving as the building doesn't look that large - as palaces go - but it extends a great length behind.
The Imperial Gate
View of the sea from the palace
Closer view of the sea (there were soldiers everywhere in the grounds)
We weren't allowed to take photos of the interior but I took a few sneaky ones when the guide wasn't looking!! This is of part of the ceiling decoration in the Hall
One side of the amazing Crystal Staircase
A pretty Rose in the gardens :)
The Sultan built a few other buildings in the grounds of the palace. This one was so that he could see and inspect his troops without having to go outside in the winter.
This conservatory (another sneaky picture!) is part of the building
I had to take this photo as I couldn't believe my eyes. The people in the boxes are actually real soldiers and the boxes have roofs!!!! I don't know how they don't faint from heat and lack of oxygen!!! (they are standing by the Imperial Gate - facing the road)