How much money can one Sultan spend? (Answer: ALL of it!)
Istanbul Travel Blog› entry 148 of 251 › view all entries
July 18th, 2008 – by: cmgervais
First of: the entrance fee. This place was the priciest we have encountered thus far, with tiered levels based on how much you want to see. We opted for a tour that included Selamlik and the Harem, which cost us 20YTL per person. I also had to pay a 6YTL camera fee -- no kidding. Video cameras cost more (15YTL!). Unfortunately I didn’t even bring my good camera, because I didn’t feel like carrying it today.
Another note: you have to join a tour to see the place. It's included in the entrance fee. Tours are conducted in English or Turkish (although our guide was also relaying the information in Spanish to a small group from Spain. He was one of those guys who speaks 10 languages.) It says right on the sign not to argue about the tour times, which means you may have to sit and wait awhile. You would think for what they charge you would get a smaller group, but our group had at least 40 or 50 people…way too crowded. Since our guide was a rather nervous speaker, and spoke softly, so it was often impossible to hear what he was saying.
The palace was just ridiculous. It has grandiose stairways with crystal balusters, hundreds of priceless chandeliers (including one that weighed 4.
So this was a pretty incredible place. If we had to do it again, we would have saved the extra money we spent to visit the Harem. It was nice, but really was more of the same that we had seen elsewhere.
We decided to walk home from there even though we knew it might take several hours. Anything to avoid that bus and the traffic. On the way, I finally found a place to cut my hair, so I stopped there while Steve walked on. I was so happy with my haircut (and it was only 20YTL) I decided to stay for a manicure and pedicure too.
I then walked about half way home, then jumped on a bus. It was getting late and I was expecting a guest… My friend Lisa is coming from Minneapolis (the one and only Lisa who also joined us for the China leg of this trip). I made it home and later got a call from Lisa who was having communication issues with the taxi driver. She thought he didn’t know where to go and was asking for direction. Turns out he knew right where to go and thought she was unhappy with the air conditioner setting! Oh, the miscommunications we experience on the road! Anyway, she finally made it and we had a great evening on the balcony, drinking wine and eating all the leftovers from the frig. It’s our last night in the apartment -- tomorrow we embark on our west coast road trip!
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