Istanbul - The 2013 edition!

Right after my return from my last Istanbul trip, my mother had called me to tell me that she and her friends had finally decided to go there as well - for the first time!

And she told me that she would invite me along if I played the guide for them. To which I agreed of course! But since they only wanted to go from Wednesday to Saturday I asked to get a flight on Monday already. I just need as much time as possible in Istanbul!

My last weeks had been rather stressful with various projects, workshops and gigs. So when I left on Monday morning I was rather exhausted from a weekend of workshops in Germany and the long drives. My brain really needed a break! I even hadn't had the time to pack several days in advance as I usually do. So I had to get up at 5 AM to finish my packing, answer the last e-mails and do some more stuff.
Fortunately my dear boyfriend had offered to drive me to the airport.

I dozed through most of the flight and already felt better when I arrived in Istanbul. Since I went to stay with my friend Lara, I tested a new experience and went to town by metro and tramway. It was interesting because the tram goes through some parts of Istanbul that I hadn't seen before. Unfortunately there weren't many seats and I had to stand for most of the way which took about an hour. I got off at Tophane and walked up the street to a little grocery store where Lara had left her key for me. The guy there didn't understand me at first but when I showed him Lara's picture he went "aaah!" and opened a drawer to give me the key. I quickly deposited my luggage and then walked up to Istiklal caddesi.

First of all, I needed some good food and went to Ficcin. What once started out as a little restaurant with home-made style food in a side street, has grown a lot over the years. Every now and then they add more space, mostly by overtaking other restaurants on both sides of the same street. So they are now spread out over at least 5 buildings! Luckily the food is still as delicious as always.

My next stop was at my usual hairdresser where I got a nice haircut and a mediocre manicure.
The hairdressers totally don't fit the cliché - they are all big, well-fed, hairy guys who look more like construction workers. But they always do a good job.

I also went to Legend costumes because I was supposed to pick up a costume for a friend of mine, but it wasn't finished yet. So I just looked through all the nice costumes on display.

But I didn't have a budget for an expensive costume and resisted the temptation to order something.

It's quite an adventure right now to get to Legend's show because of the gigantic construction site on Taksim square!

Strolling down the road again I did some shopping and found two good, cheap pairs of pants that I bought.

Finally I went back to the appartment. By now I had entered my "relaxed in Istanbul" state and just chilled a bit, waiting for Lara to come home. When she did, we stayed inside for the evening, just chatting - and Lara eating a large portion of the chocolate that I had brought for her!
This was the first night in years that I didn't go to tango in Istanbul!