27.06.2012 26 °C
I had quite a bit of the day free before my flight, so I checked out reasonably early, stored my luggage and jumped on a tram across the river to visit the Dolmabahce Palace. There was no queue when I arrived, but the full tour price was quite steep, so I opted just to see the Harem. I'm more interested in how people lived, rather than where they conducted state affairs, so it suited me to take the shorter tour.
Guided tours are compulsory, and as this one lasted only 25 minutes, we were pretty much running from room to room. However, the decor was quite stunning, and it was interesting to see the Sultan's rooms and rooms of the royal women.
I must have arrived at the right time, as when I came out of the palace, the queue to get in was huge.
I decided to walk back to the other side of the river, rather than catch the tram, as I thought I had plenty of time. Walking across the bridge was risky business, behind all the fishermen who were flicking back their hooks and lines to cast them out into the river. I managed to avoid ending up as fish bait, and eventually made it to the Istanbul Archaeological Museum. From what Lonely Planet said, it didn't sound like a must-see, but when I got there I found it was gigantic and there was so much to see. Unfortunately, I never got time to get around all of it, but there were certainly some interesting exhibits dating back to 3000 BC.
There were countless sarcophaguses, including the Alexander Sarchophagus, so named because it has a picture of Alexander the Great in battle on the side.
Alexander the Great and the Alexander Sarcophagus
Undies or togs?
I could have spent many more hours there, but had to get back to my hotel to get changed for the flight.
And so ends my adventure. It's been awesome, and I now know a lot more about how much I am capable of, and how people make the world go round. I wouldn't change a thing about where I went and what I did. Thanks for all the comments and encouragement, I've loved keeping this blog.
All that's left now is the long flight home. I intend to spend it planning my next adventure.