Friday, June 18, 2010

Turkey, Dolmabahce Palace


Canon 322Five dozen rolls of Charmin and you are still eight short of supplying all the bathrooms at Dolmabahce Palace.



Completed in 1856 with 285 rooms, 68 toilets, 46 halls and OMG only 6 baths, Dolmabahce Palace displays Turkish 19th century “Lifestyles of The Rich and Famous”.

The Palace is also sentimental to modern day Turkey because it is here that it's First President Ataturk (1927) passed away in 1938 on the morning of November 10th at 9:05am.


Canon 317 Today, a military honor guard is still present at the palace entrance.




A YTL$20 ticket provides a no pictures guided tour in Turkish and English along with free admission to Dolmabahce Palace Harem Residence.


Canon 319 Entering the palace grounds, the threat of rain and gray clouds does not distract from the beautiful roses along the walking path, a fountain garden, statues and waterfront views.


Samsung 640 Dolmabahce waterfront location while beautiful also created a security risk for ship launched attacks.




A good introduction to the opulence of Dolmabahce is “The Grand Crystal Staircase”a two story double entry staircase with steps lined                                                                                 on both sides with large crystal rail supports. And if that's not enough just light it up with a crystal chandelier.

From one room to another the decorations and craftsmanship involved is almost unbelievable.

Entrance to “The Grand Ballroom” is hair raising and gives me goose bumps.


huge-chandelier-in-the At approximately four and a half tons here is the fifth largest crystal chandelier in the world with over ten thousand crystals and hundreds of lights.





Turned off except for special occasions our tour guide tells us . “Next time bring your president if you want to see it lit up”. Apparently, they cannot afford the electric bill.

Exiting to the left from The Palace a light rain begins to fall as we walk quickly to a free tour at the Harem Residence. A tour that is a bit rushed with a big group, it does give a little more insight into daily Harem life including exhibits of little prince and princess rooms.


Samsung 650 The sky opens up and without umbrellas we are drenched on the way back to our car even the military honor guard has to take cover.





Canon 326 Leaving Dolmabahce Palace we take a scenic drive along the coast to Sariyer, a town Tony claims is famous for meat pies.





Canon 329 However, Tony has other dining options in mind and we end up at A Meitre where the selections are very interesting.

Dinner anyone?



Canon 332 I eventually build up enough “Macho Man” courage to try Lamb Tripe Soup.





Samsung 655 A clam texture in a milk  colored broth there is not enough garlic or paprika that I can add to please my taste buds. Tony ends up with an extra serving.



I enjoy huge portions of fresh bread and water as Tony and Moose choose one of A Meitre specials.


Samsung 659 When their order arrives and looks back at me, I decide to do some local sightseeing.







Samsung 665        Sariyer Harbor



Samsung 668 I do get to enjoy a famous and tasty meat pie that interestingly is sold by weight.





Samsung 670 From across the street the smell of fresh baked bread requires further investigation. I leave the proud owner of two warm sesame seed bagels. Aaaaah, nothing like fresh warm bread, simply delicious.


Along two lane highways, Moose take us for a little sightseeing around the peninsula.


Canon 343 At one point we are taking gorgeous views of the Bosphorus.





Canon 342 Nearby cows freely roam the streets and allow us to pet them.







Canon 344 Here a feline cautiously eyes us from a garbage can.





Canon 328 Local Boater







Samsung 671 Waterfront Homes






Done with sightseeing for the day we maneuver our way back home joining traffic heading west out of Istanbul. The weather man promises no rain for tomorrow. I wish I could revisit this area because I am sure the scenery here would be even more striking on a day without Turkish Rain.


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