Istanbul - Shoes, baby!

You might sometimes wonder why I like going to Istanbul alone - but the more I come here, the more people I know. Some work in shops that I like to go to, others are tango dancers or Oryantal (as they say here) dancers.
So I don't feel alone at all.

This time for example I am spending quite some time with Lara. She had expressed the need for proper dance shoes and I suggested that she should have a look at tango shoe shops with me - and that's what we did on Tuesday.

There's a shop called Turquoise Shoes that I had never actually been to. But I mentioned them on my website where I have some tips for tango dancers in Istanbul. Apparently this resulted in quite a number of new customers. So Baris, the owner, wrote me an e-mail last Spring to thank me and offered to send me a pair of shoes for free. I told him that I would be happy to come and pick them up in person.

So that's where we went first. They had a lot of very elegant and stylish shoes! Lara immediately fell in love with a pair of turquoise shoes. She put them on and took at least a dozen pictures from different angles. I found two pairs that I liked and test-danced in them with Baris.

Both were great so I ended up buying one pair in addition to the pair I got for free. So it was a successful morning for all of us!

The three of us went to have a small lunch together and chatted for a while.

Then I took Lara to Necmi Usta - where I ordered another pair of shoes... I need a bigger shoe closet!

But they are so much more affordable than the ones you can buy in Switzerland - plus they are great and handmade!
 Lara found a nice model there too but decided to wait until next week when they would get new materials.

Afterwards we split up because Lara had to go to teach her dance classes. I dropped my shoes at the hotel and then went to eat a gigantic piece of cake before going to Nisantasi.

I went shopping for a while along Rumeli Street and then visited Serap's shop for a fitting of my new costume. It will turn out really nice! But she won't be able to finish it while I am here. She sent me my other costumes by mail as well so it won't be a problem.

I headed back to the hotel with several shopping stops. I needed to find a matching dress for my new burgundy red shoes so I could wear them the same night!

There had already been some Galata Saray football fans walking up and down Istiklal, now they became more and they started singing too! I could even hear them through my closed hotel room window.

I didn't take my usual evening nap because I felt wide awake and just hoped that I would stay that way until 2 AM. So I just sat on my bed, answered e-mails and posted some pictures of the day on Facebook before I got dressed for the evening.

When I went to my little restaurant (the one with the delicious cheap chicken) the TV was on as always - and sure enough everybody was watching the match Galata Saray vs. Manchester United...

I nearly got lost in the back streets on my way to the milonga - thank goodness for GPS on the iPhone!
But I found a little shop on the where I could imagine my boyfriend buying at least a dozen shirts. I might get him one.
He likes flower shirts!

The milonga started an hour later than announced so I got there too early - it was probably because they expected a lot of dancers to watch football. Another early bird was Claude from Zurich who I had met the night before. As it was his first time in Istanbul I gave him some tips for shoe and basar shopping.

This night I left a little earlier as I knew that I would have a long next day.