“Turkey 🇹🇷 ~In Search of Magic Carpets”

Ottomania Oriental Rug Gallery

We are in search of Magic Carpets, which speaks of adventure and cross-continental intrigue; with the rich and famous. 

Travolta, the mystic carpet entrepreneur, full of colorful stories which begin with a very famous connected Grandfather; who’s mere presence meant safety to many cross tribal regions. A kind of Godfather in Kurdish backroads. His skills as a trader in the rug business, brought fame and prosperity to legions of talented people.

Travolta, as he is kindly called, works as an ambassador of silk rugs for the rich and famous of California’s elite. He can spin a tale over tea, that can turn hours into minutes. 

Rain is coming, so it is time to continue our Turkish self-tour throughout the spice and tea traders and many other places. Thoughts of Silk Road trades over exotic tea turned into reality, as we bartered for “tea of slumber.” This is a mix of flowers and spices that ensures sleep, without counting camels. Leaving without gold, myrrh or frankincense, we ramble carefully past traders luring us in, to their den of wares. 

We come upon a silk trader, hiding in the darkness behind pillows and fabric with which only a queen could embrace. As luck would have it, I was able to convince this man of silk to release a shawl with flowing shades of black and silver silk, for my Bunny’s shoulders. We haggled over this exquisite masterpiece, before I gave him the gold he asked for, at a slight reduction.

On to our next stop, we heard whispers of a space reserved for villains of the past. A place so vile, the worst of the worst made their refuge. The movie Midnight Express was filmed inside these prison walls. Murderers and drug smugglers of the past shuddered at the thought of living in these dungeons. The grounds have been transformed from a pigs sty to a silk purse, fit for a king. After much remodeling, The Four Seasons Luxury Hotel now operates within the infamous prison, and now the wealthy travelers pay to stay there.

We tour the grounds and memories of scenes from the movie in the courtyard roll out of my past recollections.

We head around the corner to Topkapi Palace and tour those grounds. This palace of past leaders has been turned into museums. We take pictures of buildings and tombs and save the museum for another day. 

Many tombs on display
Hagia Sophia

We continue our way back towards home, above the fray. We pass a flag salesman, “Turkish delights” candy, baclava and Colonel Sanders. A familiar home meal awaits us, for KFC just speed dialed us and said dinner is waiting. With bellies full of dancing chickens, we jump on the tram and head home.

Our dreams will be filled with cross-continent tales and familiar foods.

“Turkey 🇹🇷 ~Topkapi Palace in Istanbul”

It was built in between 1466 and 1478 by the sultan; Mehmet II, on top of a hill in a small peninsula, dominating the Golden Horn to the north, the Sea of Marmara to the south, and the Bosphorus Strait to the north east.
The palace was the political center of the Ottoman Empire between the 15th and 19th centuries, until they built Dolmabahce Palace by the waterside.
After the Conquest of Constantinople in 1453, Mehmet II ordered his palace be built in its present location on top of the ancient Byzantine ruins. In the meantime, he lived in a smaller palace during the construction phase, which is now known as the University of Istanbul, today, located in Bayezit Square. Once Topkapi Palace was complete, and the move made, the former palace was called as “Old Palace” and Topkapi the “New Palace,” but
local people called it “Topkapi,” which in Turkish means “Gate of Cannons” due to its of huge cannons displayed outside of its gates; those which were used during the Conquest.