Flying out off Amman on Turkish Airlines , what a difference , Bliss ! European airline of the year .
We had experienced two of the most scariest flights due to turbulence on Eygpt Air , into Cairo and Amman , lets say not my favorite airline , and RyanAir service would be better .
Istanbul is a breath of fresh air after the last two weeks . Our hostel is very well located at the Sultanahmet Area , funny enough is actually next door to the Four Seasons Hotel , so it is easy to find . We intend to stay in this region for at least 6 weeks , so this will be a base ,coming and going from Istanbul .
Firstly , off to Iran consulate Tuesday to apply a visa , all going well , we hope do 2 weeks in Tehran, Isfahan and Shiraz .
Then back to Turkey , down the Med coast , Troy , Gallipoli ,Ephesus etc across to Lebanon and Palestine and try our luck to enter Israel with all those visas stamps in our Irish passports .
Yesterday we visited Topkapi Palace national museum , residence of the Ottoman Empire until Turkish independence.
Go very early to avoid the bus tours etc , and plan at least 3 to 4 hours to really appreciate the exhibitions as well as the location which was built in 1478 . The Sultans ruled their empire from here for over 380 years , and received foreigner ambassador etc . Once Turkey became a republic this was turned into a museum ,in 1924.
When used by the Sultans , it also was their residence , called Harem (place forbidden ) , 300 rooms , 9 Turkish baths , 2 mosques and a hospital etc ., my type of Harem .
The array of gems , fine cloths ,porcelain ,silver , firearms over the ottoman period is very well kept , and displayed . The Library design is personally I think the best room , with great mosaic tiles and wood work plus a great view over the gardens .
The Privy Room , is considered a must see for all Muslims . It houses the chamber of relics . The cloak of Muhammad , two swords ,a bow , a piece of his beard , a tooth and other relics . This exhibition is considered hallow ground , well protected and busy , an imam recites the Koran all day in this room .
Entrance fee is a tad pricy , I do recommend to use the wireless headphones (extra charge ) worth it . Unfortunately no picture taking in the main attraction display rooms .