Istanbul - Heavy shopping

Istiklal Caddesi - the large pedestrian street that never sleeps... Where most shops are open on Sunday... Perfect for a day of shopping! And I swear, at 11 AM there were less people walking around than the previous night at 3 AM!

I walked all the way down to the Tünel station and then worked my way up again. After some warm-up window shopping I found two nice animal print dresses and 3 pairs of shoes :-)
The exchange rate is definitely in favour of Swiss travelers, it makes everything much cheaper! In one shop I bought t-shirts in 6 different colors because they were such a bargain. Oh and of course, Indirim (sales) always seems to be on when I am here!

There's also a newly renovated and re-opened shopping mall called Demirören. I really like it for its stylish look.




Finally I went back to the hotel to put down my treasures. On the way there I had lunch in one of the small street restaurants.

So digestion and a certain lack of sleep called for a nap!

Later in the afternoon I switched into exloprer mode. I had two hamams on my list that I have never been to and they are both in the area, so I decided to check them out.
This also turned out to be the workout part of the day - after all Beyoglu is basically a big, steep hill.
The first hamam is located in a pitoresque street not far from the hotel where there are loads of antik shops (those were closed on Sunday).


The hamam itself is on the smaller side. There didn't seem to be a woman's entrance. So with my limited Turkish I had this elaborate discussion with one of the men at the entrance: "Bayan?" - "Yarin!" (women? tomorrow!) Since I wanted the hamam today I walked uphill and down on the other side to the Büyük hamam where I knew for certain that there was a women's section. The street was not indicated on the map on my iPhone (btw, I love my iPhone! Nothing like having a GPS divice in your pocket!) but there's a mosque. And hamams are often built close to mosques - which was also true in this case!

When I walked in I looked around to see who of the several women seated there was in charge. One lady asked "spreche Deutsch?" and showed me around to my cabin. Then she said "Komm Fräulein" and I followed.
The hamam is not very "büyük" (big) but nice and the treatment friendly. And the prices are much more "neighbourhood" than "tourist trap"!
I will definitely go there again.
Fresh and clean!