If you get into history the way I get into history, you'll understand the "pinch me" feeling that came over me nearly every time I turned a corner in Istanbul. The very act of putting foot to ground in this fabled city sent tingles up my spine. I wanted to mind-meld with every stone. A view from Topkapi Palace was one of those moments. That's the Bosphorus down there, and that further shore is in Asia.
Somehow we missed the emerald-encrusted dagger of Sultan Mahmud I that was featured in Topkapi, the movie. But I was traveling with food service professionals, so we did pay a visit to the kitchen displays:
Love the charming way utensil use is shown on tapestries as antique as the utensil itself.
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Fellow travelers included a troupe of school children, obviously coming from or going to a performance of some sort, and a troupe of dolphins, cavorting in the Bosphorus just beyond the ancient ramparts below the terrace where we ate lunch (little dark spots).
Next week I'll dazzle you with ceramics. For now, another "pinch me" moment. That water over there is the Golden Horn. And rising across the way is Galata Tower, built and rebuilt by the Genoese after the destruction of the original during the Fourth Crusade - by the Venetians. And you thought the Crusades were all about repelling the infidel. The Fourth Crusade took place more than two centuries before the Ottomans came over the walls.