I also like the food. My ambition of getting into a better bathing suit shape before we hit the beach in South Africa has been thrown out the window. I decided it would be foolish to give up such delicacies for vanities sake...and it's not like the improvement would be so great anyway. I said to George over our hotel's breakfast buffet this morning that God must have Turkish food in heaven. He smiled and suggested I was being too narrow; he figures God's table wouldn't be so limited and would surely include Dutch cheese, etc. Till I find out for sure, I'll enjoy the food here as much as I can.
Our first full day in Istanbul we toured the Roman Basilica Cistern that was seen in James Bonds' "From Russia With Love." (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bVtwNzF1BP8) It's an elaborate underground water storage facility that used to be the city's reserve, but now it's a tourist attraction filled with a small amount of water and large carp. While underground we succumbed to the pleading of our little girl for family photos dressed up in clothes like the Sultan's family. Perhaps you saw the image on Facebook, but if not, here it is again. The kids have asked for so little on this trip that this seemed like a good place to indulge them. This will also take place of our usual fall family photos for Barry's parliamentary Christmas cards.
This morning, after another glutinous breakfast, we visited the Topkapi Palace. This centrally located palace was the home of many Sultans. Though many buildings were not so ornate as the Empire's wealth might predict, the property was expansive and the tile was quite impressive. We learned that the buildings were modest to be in line with the Islamic teaching of modesty with wealth. Though that sentiment was visible in most of the buildings, the jewels and treasures collected over the years were too stunning to exhibit any modesty. The Harem was the most impressive part of the palace and watching George and Molly's faces contort as we explained what it was for and what eunuchs were was quite entertaining.
Due to the reemergence of some family gastro trouble (sorry for being gross, but it's part of the journey), we returned to the room for a quiet afternoon. Hopefully all will be well tomorrow.