Thursday, July 9, 2009

My 4th of July-Part 1

My 4th of July was not spent celebrating independence day. It was spent sightseeing in Istanbul with the best tour guides! My sister Sandy and Gulden, her friend, coworker, cousin-in-law. We took the Ferry across the Bopherous to the European side of Istanbul. I love taking the Ferry as the water is my favorite place to be...
Here is the Maiden’s Tower. According to the most widely-known story in Turkey, the ruler of that time dreamt that his beloved daughter was fatally bitten by a snake. In order to protect his daughter, he had a tower built in the middle of the sea and sent her to live there. However, a snake hidden in a basket of grapes sent by the ruler bit the princess who died as a result. The present-day tower was built out of stone in 1719.
This is Dolmabahçe Palace. Beautiful isn't it. I will tell more a little later.
So we got off the ferry and starting walking to Dolmabahçe Palace. It was a bit of a walk but I didn't mind as I was busy taking pictures. Sandy and Gulden had to keep stopping and waiting for me. LOL Here is just a randon street. I just love the architecture here.
And of course I love tree lined streets....
So we arrived at Dolmabahçe Palace. The palace takes up a surface area of 45,000 square meters, while its walls are covered with neoclassical, empirical and baroque decorations. Its symmetrical façade along the quayside has a total length of 284 meters. The palace has 285 rooms, four grand salons, six galleries, five main staircases, six hamams (of which the main one is pure alabaster), and 43 toilets. Fourteen tons of gold and 6 tons of silver were used to build the palace. The extensive use of glass, especially in the Camli Kösk conservatory, provides a gallery of virtually every known application of glass technology of the day. The palace is a glittering collection of Baccarat, Bohemian, and English crystal as well as Venetian glass, which was used in the construction of walls, roofs, banisters, and even a crystal piano. The chandelier in the Throne Room is the largest one in Europe at 4.5 tons, a bulk that created an engineering challenge during installation but that has withstood repeated earthquake tests. Pretty impressive huh?
They have these guards outside the palace and they are like the ones in England and they can't move. They had just had a changing of the guard and the guy walking around was fixing this soldiers uniform. Making sure his feet were in the correct spot. It is pretty amazing that they have to stand still for 2 hours straight.
We never made it inside as the tours were closed because there were too many people inside. So we decided to go grab something to eat and went down to the Bopherous again...there was shopping down by were we ate. Very cute...
No he is not dead. You know I like to take pictures of the locals...he was just resting. It was very hot. This is just something you do not see in the states is all the stray animals roaming the streets. They are very friendly...but it's just kinda sad....
Another local with some local art. I thought these were pretty cool. I think the cats of Istanbul have it so much better than the dogs....
I thought this picture of the little boy was too good not to take. He was trying to feed the pigeons and then catch them. He got close a couple of times but no luck.
I will leave you with another local...checking out his possible lunch.
Next we headed to a boat tour of the Bopherous but that will have to wait for another day. I am tired.... I know I need to catch up on my blogging as I still have the rest of this day and then Sunday...and tomorrow is friday already and I know I will be doing something this weekend....

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Emergency Room....

I said the other day that I was going to break out of this joint....well I did...right into the emergency room. I ended up getting sicker. Lets just say that I was dehydrated. So my sister and her hubby took me to the ER. Below is the entrance. Let me just say that I was pleasently suprised at how nice the hospital was. It was better service and care than alot of American hospitals. I walked in and they put me in a bed right away. They found an english speaking Doctor. She was very very nice. So they took blood and did some other tests....and I have some kind of stomach thing....I will spare you the details...LOL They put an IV in me and gave me anti nauesa medication and then fluids. Cengiz, my brother in law took pictures me while I was in the bed having the IV put in. If he sends them to me I might put one up here but it might be R rated as I was flipping him off when he was doing it. LOL He said I could post them to my blog.
Nice bracelet huh? I didn't figure I would get one of those here. Just a memento of my trip. I felt better when I left the hospital. I was suprised that my trip was not that expensive. In the states it would have cost and arm and a leg. I left with 3 perscriptions and a special diet...
So that was yesterday....today I am not feeling much better. Maybe just a little...and I am very very tired. So...this make 5 days that I have been sick....in this apartment...lonely & bored....as it is 7:30pm here in Istanbul. I hope that this goes away soon and I can venture out.....