Ready to face the crowds, we wander through the Gate of Felicity, leading us into the throne room where the Sultan accepted guests to discuss business, another room where the children were circumcised, and another where the harem was kept. The tile work on the walls and ceilings is exquisite. We pass the room where the relics are displayed and another where weapons of war are admired. We wander through the room highlighting the portraits of the Sultans. The inner courtyard’s roses are lined with boxwoods and lovely old trees. The palace grounds seem to expand right before my eyes.
Lunch is a meat place that our guide recommends. It’s Nusret Gökçe's steakhouse; he's nicknamed Salt Bae, a weird name if one is over about thirty, and he's become an internet sensation. But, hey, we’re as young as our college students in our own minds. Along with our steaks, we order baklava, which is an experience in itself.