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We spent the next morning at the Topkapi Palace, the center of the Ottoman empire from the 1400s through the 1800s. Our ticket shows the Gate of Salutations, the entrance to the courtyard containing most of the government buildings.
One of the most interesting areas of the palace is the Harem. The Harem, consisting of over four hundred rooms, is where the wives, female slaves, and children of the sultan lived. Many of the rooms were beautifully decorated with elaborate tiles.
These pavilions were decorated with hundreds of amazing tiles. Here's Kimberly standing in front of one of the pavlions. A closeup of the one section of the wall is to the right.
Inside, the pavilions were decorated with inlaid mother of pearl as well as tiles. Here we are in front of an inlaid set of doors.
There were great views of the Golden Horn, the Sea of Marmara, and the Bosporous from Topkapi Palace, but we wanted to spend some more time on the water. After lunch, we went to the ferry docks and bargained with a guy for an afternoon cruise on the Bosporous. We got on the somewhat rickety boat, and cruised past palaces and small villages. To the right is a mosque in front of one of the suspension bridges connecting the European and Asian coasts.

Our last morning in Istanbul, we took the elevator to the top of the Galata Tower for a great view of the city.
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