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P1040384If we wasted any time in Istanbul, it was in gawking…here…there…everywhere we looked was a feast for the eyes. Therefore, you will find in this post another series of photos with little rhyme or reason…just impressions…and some things that caught my eye.

Saffron

Saffron

Since the Blue Mosque was right next door (we had an up-close view from our hotel window), we went there first. That was also our first experience with a handsome “nephew” of a rug seller.P1040365

We weren’t 10 steps from the hotel when he engaged us in conversation. “I’m not a guide,” he assured us, “I am just trying to help you see this beautiful mosque.”

P1040390In full knowledge that we were being P1040385suckered into a visit to his uncles shop, we went along with him. He spoke perfect English and it was fun to see him in action…until he grabbed us and cut to the front of a HUGE line of people waiting to enter the mosque.

Floating on the Bosphorus and catching the sites along the shores.

Floating on the Bosphorus and catching the sites along the shores.

“No,” I said, “we can’t cut.”

“Yes, come with me,” he thrust plastic bags at us and draped a scarf over my shoulder, gesturing for me to put it on.* “These are all tours. You are only two people.” A guard nodded us through.

P1040385Not true! And it would have created a real stir to P1040359fight our way back through the crowds…and so we entered this impressive place of worship. I couldn’t bring myself to snap photos. I have my memories. And I paid the price of a sales spiel from the rug seller who was disgusted to know that I have rugs from Greece in my house.P1040361 Istanbul

Next stop, Topkapi Palace.

P1040360

The whole fandamily. A sultan and his wives and his children.

This is not merely an edifice. It is a lovely green oasis with many buildings, all containing intricate mosaics and gold on the gold. From the cluster of buildings housing sarcophagi to the well-guarded museum of weapons to the Imperial Harem, the splendor goes on and on.

Within an hour I needed to clean my memory card* in order to allow more information to enter my brain.

Wandering the streets and parks of Istanbul is, perhaps, the biggest treat. One can watch the beautiful people for hours.P1040411

The problem in Istanbul is not in finding something to do, it is in winnowing through the opportunities to get a snapshot of this beautiful city in a just a few days.

P1040445The Grand Bazaar is overwhelming in its largess.P1040380

The Spice Market was our introduction to Turkish Delight, a specific delicacy that we planned to bring home and devoured within a few hours. I had the opportunity to look at and smell the most rare of saffrons.

Turkish Delight...in many guises.

Turkish Delight…in many guises.

Yes, Istanbul is a feast for all of the senses.

*I tend to be a saver. Although I have downloaded my photos to three separate computers, I can still my grandson’s high school graduation. (He’s a junior in college.) Many times on this trip I had to delete photos from my cards in order to take more pictures.