Istanbul – Beyoglu District
I am now in the Beyoglu district and this is the heart of Istanbul. This is the pulse of the city. There is shopping and cafes and hookah and all sorts of fun stuff going on and I’m gonna see what kind of trouble I can get myself into. Let’s go. I am now in the Flower Passage, and you won’t find any flowers here, but what you will find are restaurants selling lots of fish, and I’m on a hunt to test out this famous drink called Raki. This unassuming clear liquid is called Raki. It packs quite a punch. It’s actually made with grape and anise seed. You don’t drink this without a meal, so I have a nice big plate of sea bass right here to soak it all up. Get it, ice cream’s hard to get here in Istanbul. Some countries have snake charmers, Istanbul has ice cream charmers. One of these days I’m gonna get ice cream in this thing. So I love how interactive these hookah bars are. These guys have so much attention on your table they come back over and over and over, they give you new coals, they get the thing rockin’, they start smoking with you, and pretty soon you’re best friends with everybody in the cafe. I love it. Aw yeah, look at that. The Beyoglu district is the spot. This place is happening. There’s so much going on, so I’m gonna keep on cruising. See you later.
Istanbul Map and Travel Guide Photo Gallery
Istanbul – Topkapi Sarayi
I am standing in front of the Topkapi Palace which was the largest palace for the sultans in the 15th century. And inside there are tons of beautiful gardens and gorgeous views of the Phosphorus Sea and also the largest treasury, so we have a lot to look at inside. This beautiful building I’m standing in is the Imperial Court, and this is where they had all kinds of meetings and decided all kinds of laws, things like that. It is stunning. I mean everything is covered in gold leaf, there are these domed ceilings, it’s just gorgeous. This is a throne, not a bed, although it’s three times bigger than my bed. It’s pretty insane. There are three libraries in this palace, this is the second one, and this is where the students would come to study, and these shelves all around here were filled with books. Probably the most striking thing about this building is all the tile. And these tiles are pretty much mostly made of quartz. And they’re beautiful. This is the balcony where the sultan would come every single night during Ramadan to break his fast. And I understand why, because you get an entire view of the city. These ancient walls behind me protected the city for about 1300 years and it’s about 15 miles around. I’ve just finished touring the Topkapi. This palace is unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. It is awe-inspring with the tilework, the beautiful views, the gardens, definitely come visit here.