Diamonds, Relics and Turkish Baths

Trip Start Apr 19, 2010
Trip End Jun 06, 2010

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Flag of Turkey  ,
Friday, May 7, 2010

Only one major tourist task remained, to tour the Topkapi Place.  This is were the sultans used to hang out.  Very large and full of beautiful rooms and hordes of visitors and lots of school kids on field trips to take in Turkish history.  We toured the Hall of Holy Relics that shows of some significant holy Muslim relics. Items brought back from Egypt, Mecca and Medina by the conquering Ottomans who had them for private viewing and allowed the public to see them on religious occasions.

Going inside you will hear an imam reading/singing verses of the Quran.  They have been doing so for 24 hours a day nonstop since the 16th century.  It is very moving and I saw some women in tears hearing the verses.  On display are a variety of locks and keys for the Kaaba -- the holiest of Muslim shrines, the big black cube in the centre of the mosque at Mecca.  Also on display is a footprint of Muhammad, plus hair from his beard, his tooth, letters he wrote and other relics.

The palace has a treasury that has on display a 86 carat diamond in the shape of a pearl, named the Spoonmaker diamond. The story of the diamond reports that a poor man found the rocks in a trash heap and sold it to a spoon maker for some wooden spoons.  He in turn, sold it to a jeweller for 10 silver coins.  No one quite knows how the sultan got his hand on the diamond but there it is in the treasury.

We stopped for refreshments in the cafe in the palace and paid royally for the privilege.  It was nice to sit and enjoy the view with the drinks.

After the palace, I, as your loyal correspondent, returned to the hotel to toil over the official records of our adventure while Jacqui decided to partake of a Turkish bath.  One look at the brochure frightened me away.  Imagine me in a hot, humid bath, naked, with a imposing large Turkish man washing my armpits, shudder.  I shall report on JB's adventure when she surfaces.

Jacqui has returned from the bath and fortunately no large Turkish men to wash her armpits, however, there were hairy large Turkish women to perform the task.  She is all aglow, fully washed, pampered and massaged.
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Jill on

Loved the visual of Doug being pampered in a Turkish Bath. *priceless*

Sriyani Desouza on

Hi Doug and Jaqui

Love to hear from you. We arrived home last night from KL at 2am. KL also t got up and reading about Turkish bath. Great photos and great reading.
we wish we were with you sharing your "interesting espreriences in Turkey
GREAT READING we saw all the pictures and reading for Egypt thorougly enjoyed it
lots of love anf regards from Down Under (Ivor and Sriyani)

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