Day 3: Exploring Instanbul’s Palaces
Two places remained on my list of sites to see again during this visit to Istanbul — Topkapi Palace and the Archeological Museum. I had hoped that the long-awaited renovation of the palace kitchens at Topkapi would be complete but, alas, it is still underway…I hope to see the kitchens next time and learn about them in the Ottoman era. The wonders of the Archeological Museum never fail to please, even though one section of the museum is closed for renovation. I am pleased to see that the Turkish government continues to invest in the country’s historical treasures.
Of course, while exploring Instanbul’s palaces, I found wonderful food! After enjoying a light lunch of roasted eggplant, sarmas and yogurt, there was plenty of time for a leisurely jaunt through Sultanahmet. This evening we went to dinner at an area in the Old City known for its seafood restaurants. These restaurants are also known for serving mezes, which those who have read my earlier postings will remember, are small dishes that are served family style. This type of restaurant is enjoyed by slowly savoring the food and offers plenty of RAKI (the national drink – an anise flavored liquor). In addition to seafood and Mezes, the area also provides opportunities to enjoy lively music performed on the streets by musicians. You can enjoy personal concerts right at your table side, and if so inclined, can get up and dance along to the infectious melodies. It is a special atmosphere that fills all with pure contentment as the aromas of food and sounds of sweet music permeate the air alit with colorful tea lights and lamps. It was a lovely carefree night that wrapped up another fantastic day in Istanbul.