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Duckingham Palace

by on June 26, 2013


Alex- Yesterday, we got milk called Ayran. Today at breakfast, the Ayran tasted bad, so we checked to see what is was. It turned out that Ayran was really sour yogurt. Our first attraction of the day was Topkapi (pronounced top-copy) had lots of pushy Turkish people, who were rather annoying. My favorite thing was seeing Moses’s staff. After our nap, we went to the Blue Mosque. The picture above is of us standing under the entrance chain. This chain was created to make the Sultan duck, as he rode in on his horse, to show that he was not as powerful as the Muslim God. The “metro”, was a tram going along the street. this is what happened today.

P.S. Yesterday, I got to use the Water Closets on the plane during turbulence.

Extra photos are available on the following Instagram accounts: Annabeaverpv, ukwizard

Note from Renee:  Several of you (and us too) were concerned about Istanbul due to news coverage of the unrest.  I can tell you that we have seen NOTHING even slightly concerning — at least in the areas of town we have visited so far its business as usual.  So glad we didn’t skip this first stop of our trip as its proving to be exciting and very different from other places we have visited.

I was here in the summer of 1984 and its much cleaner on the streets than I remembered.  Also, the weather is near 90 and breezy – can’t complain about that!

Other than the salty milk yogurt (which I had used to make scrambled eggs too), it also turns out our attempt to buy mineral water with gas failed — seems like we got some clear sweet soda’ish thing!  We will go back to the Dva, the largest supermarket in the area (which is smaller than your local 7-11 mini market) tomorrow and try again.

We spent most of today in Topkapi Palace, which is a large palace complex that was the Sultans’ home and center of government in the Ottoman Empire from the 1400s until World War I.  They had many priceless things, jewels, and religious relics  from the Empire; my favorite was the staff that Moses used to part the Red Sea.  I am happy to report that the “actual” staff is MUCH smaller than the one Charlton Heston used in the movie — it was quite thin and not very tall.  But apparently very powerful as many miracles have been attributed to it (said our audio tour).  It was also surprising to see the “arm” of John the Baptist covered in gold in a display case in the middle of of the Palace.  We plan to do some research to figure out just how this came to be.  The  mostly Muslim crowd on this part of the tour were more interested in the small cases containing “a hair from the beard of the Prophet Muhammad” than in John’s arm or the staff of Moses.


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  1. Aunt Ginny permalink

    Alex – I see you liked the milk too! I enjoyed the Blue Mosque as well but my favorite spot in Istanbul is THE GRAND BAZAAR!!!

  2. Uncle Phil permalink

    Why you would name a palace after a Pokemon character is beyond me.
    And enough discussion about the size of Moses’ staff.
    And it’s actually a nose hair.
    Sorry the protesters let you down.

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