Today is the last day of the semester work and therefore, my last blog post.
We began the morning with a visit to the Dolmabahçe Palace. This is a grand palace of the previous Sultans or the Turkish people. It is a large home with many rooms (all of which are enormous) that once acted as a home to the sultan and housed political and religious events. The compels was built in a French style with ornate details and many decorative motifs. I would compare it to the palace of Versailles. However, the gardens were not nearly as impressive. Once room in the interior must have been 3 stories tall with the largest chandelier in the world hanging in the center of the expansive room. It was truly a magnificent ballroom. Unfortunately, we were prohibited from taking pictures of the interior.
Next, we went to Buyukada island in the Marmara Sea. It is a small island and the only modes of transport on the island are horse drawn carriage or bicycle. There are very few cars on the island, mostly ambulances and government vehicles. The buildings on the island are mostly a colonial style which was surprising to me. I expected to see more traditional Turkish housing. On this island, we took a carriage tour. It was a really fun way to see the area!
Later, we had a group dinner in which we celebrated the end of the semester and one students birthday. We sat on a rooftop terrace and when we sang Happy Birthday they launched fireworks above our heads. It was really exciting! The meal was delicious! I had a chicken kabob with rice and vegetables. We all had the traditional Turkish dessert, Baklava, at the end.
Today was another busy, exhausting day but it was great to see more of the area! As I continue to travel, I will no longer be posting blogs. I hope my readers have enjoyed following my journey!