Sultanahmet and Seraglio Point

Trip Start May 04, 2007
Trip End May 16, 2007

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Sunday, May 6, 2007

Second day in Istanbul

Today I managed to visit a lot of the tourist attractions in Sultanahmet: Blue
Mosque, Haghia Sophia, Mosaic Museum, Hippodrome, Basilica Cistern, Topkapi
Palace and the Archaeological Museum.  By the end of the day, everything was a blur...only thing I remembered were blue tiles, nice sarcophagus (pity I didn't take photos, the reliefs were sharp and depicted fighting scenes vividly...something about photograping a coffin in a darkened room scares me...:)), big diamonds (bought with 3 silver teaspoons *cry*) and the cooling breeze in the Basilica Cistern. 

The one thing I regretted was not taking photos of the gorgeous tulips at Topkapi Palace, they were in fantastic pastel colors, and one famous fountain.  I have to say something....While waiting for my turn to photograph the fountain, several female, middle-aged tourists (regardless of country origin) kept exclaiming how beautiful the tulips were and immediately started posing prettily (one even place her face just next to the tulip) and asking their companions/husbands to take their photos...and ignoring the famous fountain located just beside the tulips....while at the fountain, very young kids (turks who obviously know their history) were snapping pictures of the fountain and this young female kid was posing pretty and batting her eyelashes at the camera (obviously a male kid was taking her photo...) and the kids were ignoring the tulips....okay, after waiting 20 minutes under the hot noon sun to take my shots and suffering from mild sun stroke and dehydration, I gave up on both the tulips and the fountain and went to look at the treasury.....

Where, at the treasury, you immediately joined the line and I feel like a sheep following the line passing one second per window through windows that were displaying jewelry and swords with BIG gemstones and were owned by famous people, now long dead...... *sigh*......

Another thing I remember was a very savvy carpet dealer...I was queuing to go into Haghia Sophia when he advised me to go to the
Basilica Cistern first (there were at least 2-3 tour groups: japanese, koreans and local turks in front of me).  What impressed me was that after only exchanging 2 sentences (he asked me where I'm from and I replied a Southeast Asian country), he identified me as a  Singaporean...especially when my fellow countrymen/women often mistake me as a Philippino maid....
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