Day 3 - Sun 4 Jul 2004
Early start again - breakfast at the hotel, and then out to see the Topkapi palace. Even at 08:45 there were plenty of tour groups around. Got my "outer court" ticket with no problem, and did what the LP suggests, and hung around waiting for a Harem ticket. Got chatting to lovely Irish girl from Dublin, who was there on a stop over from Kazakhstan. She works for a inter government agency working in central asia.
Did the harem tour that was supposed to be in Turkish, but since there were no turkish speakers in the group the guide decided to do it in English! Some of the rooms have the most amazing tiled decoration. Kinda reminded me of the Alhambra in Granada, after the tour, I spent a few hours just wandering around the palace. Saw an exhibition of Tasamatic shirts, shirts that have geometric shapes and verses from the Koran that are supposed to protect the wearer from all evil.
Back to the hotel to escape the heat, and then out again later for a walk thru' Gulhame Park with the rest of the population of Istanbul. They even have rabbit fortune tellers - pay your money, and the rabbit will pick a piece of paper with your fortune on it.
The Sound and Light show at the Blue Mosque was in German tonight, but the real excitement was the European Football Cup final was on TV tonight. Greece .v. Portugal, but I was packing ready for a quick get away tomorrow.