Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Istanbul Day 6 – Topkapi and Turkish fast food

Istanbul is often seen as a meeting of East and West, but to my eyes it’s just as much North and South. The Bosphorus runs N-S and it is this route that gave the city its rich customs duties. It guards the Bosphorus. Even today you hear Russian and eastern Europeans and hardly any English voices. Pakup’s Istanbul is wonderfully evocative when it comes to the Bosphorus and it’s role in Istanbul’s geography, history and sense of place. He describes the ships that collided, exploded and went on fire, the huge Russian warships sailing through in the dead of night, the shipload of 20,000 sheep that sank taking most of its sheep with it, the sad decay of the yalts (mansions) that line the shore, the castles, the city walls and the differences in cultures between the different parts of Istanbul. This is true. One can walk across the Galata bridge and feel that you’re in another country.

Topkapi Palace
I was disappointed by the seamier side of Ottoman decadence as the exhibitions are one big blingfest. Room after room of jewel encrusted objects. Nothing more than the lazy expression of power and wealth. The views over the Bosphorus and the relic room holding the Prophet Mohammed’s relics were the only highlights. A gold gutter from the Kaaba, his mantle (case), hairs from is beard, sword, bow, dust from his tomb, even his footprint. Beginning to spot key Arabic phrases such as Allah, Prophet Mohammed, In the name of God the compassionate and merciful. The view across the Bosphorus is the high point of the palace.

Stopped off for some Turkish fast food, potato pastries, meat rolls and fresh orange juice. Sad to see a few Macdonald’s around when there’s so many good Turkish fast food joints. Thankfully, I only saw foreign tourists inside.

Why a Fez?
I’ve always liked the Fez so looked it up on Wikipedia at the airport. Turns out it’s a Greek Byzantine invention, taken up by the Ottomans, as western hats couldn’t be kept on during prayer, as one’s forehead had to touch the ground. You’ll not see a Fez anywhere other than on hotel bellhops and at fancy dress parties, as in Istanbul as a reminder of Ottoman rule.

Tommy Cooper tells a great story of him visiting the bazaar in Cairo and looking at a fez, when the shopkeeper comes up to him and says, ‘Just like that!’. Tommy says, ‘I am Tommy Cooper,’ and the guy says, ‘Who?’ He explained that everyone who came up to buy a fez had used that phrase, He had no idea why.

Farewell to the excellent Hotel Niles and off to the airport. This was a fine little hotel. The two people on the front desk and all of the staff have been hired for enthusiasm and go way beyond the norm to be welcoming and helpful. Book direct on their website.

4 Comments:

At 3:32 AM, Blogger oakleyses said...

tiffany and co jewelry,tiffany and co outlet,tiffany and co,tiffany's,tiffanys,tiffany co,tiffany jewelry, louis vuitton outlet online,louis vuitton,louis vuitton outlet,louisvuitton.com,authentic louis vuitton,louis vuitton factory outlet,cheap louis vuitton, oakley sunglasses,oakley vault,oakley sunglasses cheap,oakleys,oakley.com,sunglasses outlet,cheap oakley,cheap oakley sunglasses,oakley outlet,cheap sunglasses,oakley prescription glasses,fake oakleys,oakley sunglasses outlet,oakley glasses,oakley store,fake oakley,oakley sale,cheap oakleys,discount oakley sunglasses, polo ralph lauren outlet online,ralph lauren,polo ralph,polo ralph lauren,ralph lauren outlet,polo shirts,ralph lauren outlet online,polo ralph lauren outlet,ralphlauren.com,polo outlet,ralph lauren polo, uggs, ugg australia,ugg slippers,uggs boots,uggs outlet,ugg boots,ugg,uggs,ugg boots clearance,uggs on sale, michael kors outlet store,michael kors outlet,michael kors outlet online,michael kors,kors outlet,michael kors handbags,michael kors outlet online sale,michael kors handbags clearance,michael kors purses,michaelkors.com,michael kors bags,michael kors shoes,michaelkors,cheap michael kors, cheap oakley sunglasses, gucci outlet,gucci handbags,gucci belts,gucci shoes,gucci,gucci belt,gucci sunglasses,gucci bags,cheap gucci, kate spade outlet,kate spade,katespade,kate spade handbags, christian louboutin shoes,louboutin shoes,louboutin outlet,louboutin,christian louboutin,red bottom shoes,red bottoms,christian louboutin outlet,red bottom shoes for women,louboutins, uggs, ray ban sunglasses, louis vuitton outlet stores,louis vuitton outlet online,louis vuitton,louis vuitton outlet,louisvuitton.com,authentic louis vuitton,louis vuitton factory outlet,cheap louis vuitton, louboutin outlet,louboutin,christian louboutin,red bottom shoes,louboutin shoes,red bottoms,christian louboutin shoes,christian louboutin outlet,red bottom shoes for women,louboutins, michael kors outlet online,michael kors,kors outlet,michael kors outlet,michael kors handbags,michael kors outlet online sale,michael kors handbags clearance,michael kors purses,michaelkors.com,michael kors bags,michael kors shoes,michaelkors,cheap michael kors, michael kors handbags,michael kors outlet,michael kors outlet online,michael kors,kors outlet,michael kors outlet online sale,michael kors handbags clearance,michael kors purses,michaelkors.com,michael kors bags,michael kors shoes,michaelkors,cheap michael kors, louis vuitton outlet,louis vuitton outlet online,louis vuitton,louisvuitton.com,authentic louis vuitton,louis vuitton factory outlet,cheap louis vuitton

 
At 3:36 AM, Blogger oakleyses said...

air jordan,jordan pas cher,air jordan pas cher,nike air jordan,air jordan france, hermes,sac hermes,hermes pas cher,sac hermes pas cher, hogan,hogan outlet,scarpe hogan,hogan sito ufficiale,hogan interactive, coach outlet,coach factory outlet,coach outlet store,coach factory,coach outlet store online,coach factory online,coach factory outlet online,coach outlet online, michael kors, coach purses,coach handbags,coach bags, converse pas cher, nike air max, burberry pas cher, nike free,free run,nike free run,nike free pas cher,nike free run pas cher,nike free france, true religion, north face, michael kors canada, nike blazer, nike air max, hollister uk, nike free run, lululemon,lululemon canada,lululemon outlet canada,lululemon outlet online, hollister,abercrombie,abercrombie fitch,hollister france,hollister pas cher,abercrombie and fitch,hollister pas cher, mulberry,mulberry handbags,mulberry outlet,mulberry bags,mulberry uk, kate spade handbags,kate spade,kate spade outlet,katespade, louboutin,chaussure louboutin,louboutin pas cher,chaussures louboutin,chaussure louboutin pas cher,louboutin france, north face,the north face,north face pas cher,north face soldes,north face france, true religion, tn pas cher,nike tn,nike tn pas cher,nike tn requin,tn requin,tn requin pas cher, longchamp,sac longchamp,longchamps,longchamp pas cher,sac longchamp pas cher,longchamp pliage,longchamp soldes,sac longchamps,longchamp france, new balance pas cher, air force,nike air force,air force 1,air force one,nike air force 1,nike air force one,air force one nike, ralph lauren,polo ralph lauren,ralph lauren pas cher,polo ralph lauren pas cher,ralph lauren france, replica handbags,coach factory outlet,coach factory,coach factory outlet online,coach factory online, oakley pas cher,oakley,oakley soldes,lunette oakley pas cher,oakley france

 
At 3:39 AM, Blogger oakleyses said...

reebok outlet,reebok,reebok skyscape,reebok shoes, abercrombie and fitch,abercrombie and,abercrombie,abercrombie kids,abercrombie fitch,abercrombie.com, lululemon outlet,lululemon,yoga pants,lulu lemon,lulu.com,lululemon.com, jimmy choo,jimmy choo shoes,jimmy choo outlet,jimmy choo handbags, valentino shoes,valentino,valentinos, soccer shoes,nike mercurial, north face jackets,north face,the north face,northface,north face outlet,north face jackets clearance,the north face outlet, new balance shoes,new balance,balance shoes,new balance outlet,new balance store,new balance store locator,new balance shoes for women,joe's new balance outlet,newbalance,newbalance.com,new balance walking shoes, soccer jerseys,soccer jersey,usa soccer jersey,football jerseys, abercrombie, north face outlet,north face,the north face,northface,north face jackets,north face jackets clearance,the north face outlet, instyler ionic styler,instyler, p90x,p90x3,p90x workout,p90x workout schedule,p90x workout sheets,p90x 3,p90x2, giuseppe zanotti, herve leger,herve leger dresses, mont blanc, timberland shoes, wedding dresses,prom dresses,bridesmaid dresses,evening dresses,beach wedding dresses,cheap wedding dresses,homecoming dresses,prom dresses,wedding dresses, mac cosmetics,m a c cosmetics,mac makeup,maccosmetics.com, oakley, s5 cases, nfl jerseys,jerseys,baseball jerseys,cheap jerseys,nba jerseys,hockey jerseys,basketball jerseys,jerseys from china,cheap nfl jerseys, ipad cases, vans shoes,vans outlet,vans store,star wars vans shoes,cheap vans,vans shoes outlet,white vans,black vans,red vans,vans star wars,vans sneakers,vans shoes outlet store,vans sale,cheap vans shoes, birkin bag,hermes belt,hermes handbags,hermes birkin,hermes bags,birkin bags, mcm handbags,mcm bags,mcm backpack,mcm outlet, insanity,insanity workout,insanity workout calendar,insanity calendar,insanity workout schedule, nike trainers, louboutin, celine handbags,celine bag,celine bags, polo ralph lauren

 
At 3:42 AM, Blogger oakleyses said...

louis vuitton,louis vuitton bags,louis vuitton handbags,louis vuitton uk, moncler outlet, hollister,hollister canada,abercrombie and fitch,abercrombie,abercrombie and,abercrombie kids,af, ugg boots,uggs,ugg,ugg boots uk,ugg uk, ugg,ugg australia,uggs,ugg pas cher,ugg soldes,bottes ugg,bottes ugg pas cher, moncler, gucci, moncler jackets, canada goose outlet, moncler jackets, moncler, doke & gabbana, converse shoes,converse,converse.com,converse sneakers,converse outlet, pandora charms,pandora uk,pandora bracelet,pandora rings,pandora,pandora sale,pandora bracelets,pandora jewellery,pandora ring,pandora charm,pandora earrings,pandora jewelry,pandora necklace,pandora charms uk, pandora jewelry,pandora charms,pandora bracelet,pandora bracelets,pandora rings,pandora jewelry store locator,pandora charm,pandora charms clearance,pandora store,pandora jewelry outlet store,pandora jewelry sale online, canada goose outlet, pandora jewelry,pandora charms,pandora bracelet,pandora bracelets,pandora rings,pandora jewelry store locator,pandora charm,pandora charms clearance,pandora store,pandora jewelry outlet store,pandora jewelry sale online, coach outlet,coach factory,coach factory outlet,coach outlet store,coach outlet store online,coach factory online,coach factory outlet online,coach outlet online, toms outlet, louis vuitton,sac louis vuitton,louis vuitton pas cher,sac louis vuitton pas cher,louis vuitton france, supra shoes, sac louis vuitton,louis vuitton,louis vuitton pas cher,sac louis vuitton pas cher,louis vuitton france, ray ban, canada goose, louis vuitton,louis vuitton canada,louis vuitton outlet,louis vuitton outlet online, pandora jewelry, moncler,moncler outlet,moncler sito ufficiale, canada goose pas cher, canada goose jackets, lancel, ugg,ugg australia,ugg italia, juicy couture, moncler, karen millen dresses

 

Post a Comment

<< Home