01 June 2011 Wednesday
Day 21 Topkapi Palace &  Cruise

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This is a wonderful morning. The sky is blue. There are no clouds  and the sea gulls fly around the balcony as if they are celebrating the arrival of the summer. Finally the summer is here in Istanbul. The breakfast is served out side this morning. Hillary and Martin were enjoying having breakfast in the shade of the minarets of Aya Sophia.
Today we have a full day program. We will start with Topkapi Palace.
We left the hotel as always right on time. I am so proud of my group. They are more punctual than some of my adult groups.
We took one of the narrow winding steep streets of Istanbul up to the gate of Topkapi Palace.

Nathen pointed out to the different "ALEM"s on the mosques around us. Since we saw how one is made yesterday at Vezir's work shop we were all interested how each artist could put their own taste to the crescent that adorned the peak of the domes of the mosques.

In the outer court yard of Topkapi Palace we sat on the grass in the shade of the trees and listened to Meli's history class on the history of the city of  Byzas , Nearoma, Constantinople and Istanbul. The crowds had started pouring to the palace.

The interlocking stones of the main gate were master piece of stone masonry. The dents connecting the marble  reminded us the way the copper was welded together in Burdur. The cavity in the 500 year old tree was big enough to take our whole group in for a group photo

The Mehteran were performing in the inner courtyard of the Topkapi Palace just as they would have for 400 ears while the palace was the seat of the Ottoman sultans and his family

The Jewelry collection was amazing. The number of people who were there to visit the museum was overwhelming.

We walked down the hill after we left Topkapi Palace  and went to the Archaeological Museum. We stopped for tea and snacks before we visit the museum. Amrat gave us a talk on turquoise. Students from the faculty of Fine Arts were sketching the statues.


It was these men and women who had created the wonders that we were admiring in this museum

The chain that kept the boats from going in to the Golden Horn

When Amrit got a migran head ache, she curled and a black cat immediately made her self comfortable b her feet.

We were once again ready to move on. On this perfect day we will have a cruise on the Bosphorus.

We went back to our hotel and said farewell to our driver Bulent.

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