Our final day in Istanbul

Istanbul Travel Blog

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Dolmabahçe Palace - The Selamlik and the world's largest Bohemian chandelier

After three wonderful days in Istanbul, what would our last day hold?  It was a little cooler than usual, so we threw on some pants and prepared to walk to Dolmabahçe Palace, which was the residence of the sultans in the 18 and 1900's and even Ataturk for a time.  We headed out of the ship and were greeted by tons and tons of rain.  Poncho and umbrellas in hand, not letting the rain get the best of us, we headed out and walked a good 100 meters before our pants were completely soaked.  With a disappointing sigh, we went back to the ship.  I had no intention of letting the rain win, though.  I put on some shorts and Cathy some capris and we headed back out into the rain.

Boarding the cruise ship :)
  With sandals on our feet, the rain had nothing on us now.  The walk to the palace was quicker than expected, and by the time we entered the rain had all but stopped.

The ticket price of Dolmabahçe Palace includes the mandatory guided tour.  You can buy either a ticket for the Selamlik (men's quarters), Harem (apartments of the family of the Sultan), or a combined ticket.  We thought it would be neat to check out both parts.  I won't describe any of the rooms in detail, but the Selamlik was really incredible.  The tour is very informative and you are able to see many of the fascenating rooms of the palace, including the ceremonial hall with the world's largest Bohemian chandelier, weighing in at 4.5 tons.  The Harem was a private section of the palace, much quieter and not as fancy.

Us with Topkapı Palace, Hagia Sofia, and the Blue Mosque in the background
  There is a separate guided tour for this section, and we were able to see the chambers of the last Sultan and his family as well as the room Ataturk passed away in.  Even the grounds of the palace were very impressive.

After leaving the palace and saying a prayer that the rain would not come back, we walked to the Europe side of the city one last time, just to say good-bye.  I had been eyeing a circular bread thing from a street vendor, and I finally bought one.  I am glad I did!  We made sure we were back on the cruise ship before departure, and I was on the top deck as we left port.  Istanbul is an incredible city often overlooked by travelers, and that should not be.  I was blown away by the culture, the people, the architecture, and definitely the food.  I am excited about visiting Turkey again some day, and I want to see how the rest of the country compares.

Due to my lack of planning, we were stuck eating the later dinner each night.  This turned out to be a blessing though, as there were many times that we were in port when the early dinner was going on.  After dinner we saw a show at the auditorium, songs from various musicals.  At least Cathy enjoyed it.  :)

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Dolmabahçe Palace - The Selamlik …
Dolmabahçe Palace - The Selamlik…
Boarding the cruise ship  :)
Boarding the cruise ship :)
Us with Topkapı Palace, Hagia Sof…
Us with Topkapı Palace, Hagia So…
Entering Dolmabahçe Palace
Entering Dolmabahçe Palace
Dolmabahçe Palace - The Selamlik
Dolmabahçe Palace - The Selamlik
Dolmabahçe Palace - The Selamlik …
Dolmabahçe Palace - The Selamlik…
Outside Dolmabahçe Palace
Outside Dolmabahçe Palace
Outside Dolmabahçe Palace
Outside Dolmabahçe Palace
Dolmabahçe Palace - A bathroom in…
Dolmabahçe Palace - A bathroom i…
Dolmabahçe Palace - The Harem
Dolmabahçe Palace - The Harem
Dolmabahçe Palace
Dolmabahçe Palace
Dolmabahçe Palace
Dolmabahçe Palace
Dolmabahçe Palace
Dolmabahçe Palace
Dolmabahçe Palace - The Selamlik
Dolmabahçe Palace - The Selamlik
Dolmabahçe Palace - The Selamlik
Dolmabahçe Palace - The Selamlik
Dolmabahçe Palace - The Selamlik
Dolmabahçe Palace - The Selamlik
Dolmabahçe Palace - The Selamlik
Dolmabahçe Palace - The Selamlik
Dolmabahçe Palace - The Selamlik
Dolmabahçe Palace - The Selamlik
Dolmabahçe Palace - The Selamlik
Dolmabahçe Palace - The Selamlik
Dolmabahçe Palace - The Selamlik
Dolmabahçe Palace - The Selamlik
Dolmabahçe Palace - The Selamlik
Dolmabahçe Palace - The Selamlik
Outside Dolmabahçe Palace
Outside Dolmabahçe Palace
A monkey waiting to ambush us when…
A monkey waiting to ambush us whe…
Topkapı Palace, Hagia Sofia, and …
Topkapı Palace, Hagia Sofia, and…
The Hagia Sofia
The Hagia Sofia
Topkapı Palace, Hagia Sofia, and …
Topkapı Palace, Hagia Sofia, and…
Our cruise ship
Our cruise ship
Leaving Istanbul behind
Leaving Istanbul behind
The price of gas in Istanbul - ver…
The price of gas in Istanbul - ve…
Outside Dolmabahçe Palace
Outside Dolmabahçe Palace
Outside Dolmabahçe Palace
Outside Dolmabahçe Palace
Dolmabahçe Palace - hanging out w…
Dolmabahçe Palace - hanging out …
Dolmabahçe Palace
Dolmabahçe Palace
The New Mosque
The New Mosque
Eating a circular breadstick thing…
Eating a circular breadstick thin…
Is that mold on there?
Is that mold on there?
Leaving Istanbul
Leaving Istanbul
Istanbul
photo by: Memo