Melting Pot Of History
Apparently everyone was in Turkey at some point or another - Greeks, Romans, Egyptian, Venetian, Byzantine, Alexander the Great, Ottomans, the Amazonia women warriors... churches became mosques became churches and museums, ancient ruins & temples and cities built on top of other cities... i'm no expert but it's all fascinating to me! It's good to get a guide in at least one or two of the sights you're seeing... the stories they can tell are amazing. I learnt so many things I felt like I should be taking notes to remember them all, and in fact one Russian girl on my tour round Topkapi Palace actually did. The treasures you can find in the museums in Istanbul alone are spectacular - everything from the wand which Moses used to part the Red Sea, that amazing 86 carat Spoonmaker's diamond found in a rubbish dump & sold by a beggar for three spoons, footprint & hair of the Prophet (all at Topkapi Museum), the Alexander Sarcophagus (just one in an amazing collection of sarcophagi at the Archaeological Museum), statues & columns from ancient temples, an amazing array of precious kilims, rugs & carpets including the oldest carpet in the world (at the Ibrahim Pasha Museum)... it's all in Istanbul.