istanbul stops the clock

istanbul lanterns turkeyAll the clocks in the majestic Dolmabahce Palace show the time 9:05am. This is a sign of respect to Turkey’s supreme leader, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, who died at this hour on 10 November, 1938. Today the palace is a glamorous museum and although Intrepid Express reader Irene Biggs was short on time to explore this remarkable palace, she enjoyed every minute of her visit…

“Situated on the Bosphorus, it has palace guards patrolling the picturesque grounds and gardens. Once inside, we tagged along at the end of a tour group, and with protective slip-ons over our shoes we kept to the assigned walkways to visit the various rooms.

We soon realised we would be out of time to see it all. My friend spoke to a guide and explained our dilemma and arrangements were made for a security official to escort us super haste through the tourist route, explaining in basic English the features of this incredible palace.

The palace was decorated and furnished in opulent western style, which surprised us as we thought it would have been more in eastern influence. We saw the famous 4.5 ton chandelier, the royal reception and diplomatic rooms, and the bedrooms and bathrooms of the residential wing along with the general areas. But, for me, the most outstanding feature of this palace was the crystal staircase, where the banisters and handrails were crystal, complete with lighting.

If ever you are in Istanbul, make sure you allow plenty of time to appreciate the wonderful Dolmabahce Palace. An hour did not do it justice. The staff members are most helpful, but be warned, security is tight and no cameras are allowed.”

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A Slice of Turkey – 8 days

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* photo by Amy Mulcahy – Intrepid Photography Competition

About the author

Sue Elliot - Like many of us, Sue contracted a serious travel bug at an early age. She's visited over 90 countries in search of a cure, but her wanderlust just seems to get worse. Thankfully at Intrepid Travel she's amongst people who understand the affliction and since 1998 Sue has enjoyed being our blog and newsletter editor. Here you'll find helpful travel advice and inspiring tales from Sue and other Intrepid travellers.

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