We rose early to avoid the crowds and the van took us directly to Topkapi Palace. While photos were prohibited inside the building where the famous jewels were on display, there were some chambers that exhibited the splendor of the Ottoman Empire that could be captured on "film." We experienced our first and only rain on the entire trip. It was only a light shower and made the grounds look even more exotic with reflections in the wet pavement. We visited the Harem where the Black Eunuchs guarded the harem and saw the courtyards where the members of the harem could walk in the beauty of the flowers and gardens.
After the palace, our steps were directed down a street to lunch and then to the Grand Bazaar. The lunch was selected from a vast array of delicious Turkish treats. The Bazaar was a labyrinth of cacophony where you could get lost easily. We stuck with our guide like glue.
We bid farewell to Istanbul, headed to the airport, and boarded our flight to Dalman and the next part of our adventure - the Turquoise Coast. After an hour flight, we boarded our van that took us down to the sea and the port town of Gocek where our gulet (goo let) was waiting for us. The gulet is a 100 foot sailing vessel with private cabins and all the amenities of a fine hotel. It is our home for the next four days and we settled in to our "Master Cabin" (our 12th Classic Journeys trip has some privileges!). We motored to our first anchorage and as the sun set, we enjoyed a fine dinner and then we were rocked to sleep.