Day 2 (morning)Temperature: 7 degrees
Weather: sunny with blue sky
Continuing on, our next stop was at the Beylerbeyi Palace, Beylerbeyi meaning "Lord of Lords'! With an impressive name like that, the palace itself was even more impressive. Located on the Asian side of the Bosphorus, this Imperial Ottoman summer residence was built in the 1860s along the Strait. Since the construction of the 1973 Bosphorus Bridge, the Palace is now situated almost right underneath it.
As we toured the inside of the lavishly furnished Palace, unfortunately no pictures were allowed to be taken. Regardless, I felt just like a house guest as I toured room after room admiring the original furniture in each one of them. The richness and beauty of it all! Wow!
Outside along the Strait, a very high cemented wall surrounded the entire grounds with two huge Imperial gates opened for us to admire the view…..and what a view it was! The water was of a beautiful clear turquoise color making me wish to live here forever….in my dreams anyway!
Looking straight in front of me, the European side of Istanbul could be seen while several boats navigated the choppy waters. Above me, I was being overshadowed by the Bosphorus Bridge as I admired its structure from underneath looking quite small in its presence. The sky was blue and the sun was out. I couldn’t have asked for any better weather and a fantastic view!
Down the street, we went and then up the bridge to finally end up on the European side of Istanbul where we had lunch at a local restaurant, included as part of the tour. By then, it was 12:30pm, the morning having passed pleasantly fast.
The lunch was very good in which several plates of Turkish cuisine were presented all beautifully decorated. No complaints here. We were served like Kings and Queens! Or Sultans and Sultanas should I say!
After lunch, a brief stop, like 45 minutes was made at one of the oldest bazaar in the city, the Egyptian Bazaar better known as the Spice Market where a sea of spice stalls, piles of Turkish Delights and plenty of cheap and cheerful souvenirs could be bought among many treasures to be found.
It was amazing, quite amazing just to walk inside the covered “L" shape marketplace built in 1660 as part of a Mosque complex right along it. Definitely a place to come back to at the end of my tour, I said to myself not having had enough time to shop! Plus, the Turkish merchants were all very pleasant and not forceful or irritating vendors like in Egypt!