Dolmabahce Palace and Sadberk Hanm Museum, lunch on the Bosphorus
Istanbul Travel Blog› entry 7 of 37 › view all entries
Today we started with a short drive to the shore of the Bosphorus, on the European side near the hotel was the site of the last Sultan Palace called Dolmabahce Palace. Built in 1856 while the Ottoman was in decline, but you wouldn't know from looking at it. Outside the Imperial Gate, we happened upon the changing of the guards. The gate was only used by the Sultans and his ministers, but now is the main entrance for everyday people touring the palace. Then we walked through the garden, past the beautiful Swan Fountain.
We had to put plastic shoe slippers on when we enter, since we would be walking on carpet the whole time. The palace was of course impressive, the most memorable being the beautiful crystal chandeliers throughout the palace, includin the supposed heaviest in the world in the grand ceremonial hall, which was designed to hold 2500 people. Its dome was high, the room was truly grand. The dome was painted in a 3-dimensional way to look like it was in relief, very beautiful. This was the last room on the tour.
I might have missed hearing it from our local guide since I often linger or wander to take photos, but I regret not having taking any photos of clocks in the palace. The father of Turkey republic Ataturk died in this palace at 9:05am on Nov 10, 1938, and all the clocks have permanently been set to this time!
We then boarded the bus and headed further up the Bosphorus strait to visit a private museum called the Sadbeck Hanim Museum.
We then boarded the bus again to head to the restaurant for lunch. It's right on the Bosphorus waterfront and we watched numerous ships passing by while we had our lunch. After lunch we went back to the hotel along the waterfront of the Bosphorus, passing many parks and beaches where people were swimming or just enjoying themselves in the park.
After returning to the hotel, I thought I would walk to the Galata Tower, the most recognizable feature on the Golden Horn, 60m tall. Except I went in the wrong direction, and after backtracking I ran out ot time before having to get back to dinner. I did go through some interesting areas with lots of restaurant, cafes spilling onto the side streets which I thought I would expore on the 2nd part of my trip since I would be staying at a hotel nearby.
Dinner was at the hotel top floor, with great view of the city and Bosphorus, and the Bosphorus Bridge. After the sun set, the bridge had colorful lights and went through cycles of color from red to purple to blue, etc. We could also see the three landmarks Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque, they would get lit up but the lights never seemed to stay on so they would disappear from view. But it was very pleasant to be viewing the city lights in the night breeze.