Istanbul - Culture and Shopping

Thursday greeted us with lovely weather for our first round of sigtseeing. We all took a tram to Sultanahmet for a visit to the Blue Mosque.

But when we got there we had to find that two cruise ships were in town and with them hundreds of tourists who were all waiting in a long line to enter the mosque.
So we just walked around the area instead and admired the park with its flowers and fountains.

 Then I took them to the old cistern which fortunately had much less people. This is one of my favourite sights to visit in Istanbul and the ladies were impressed with the unique atmosphere of this underground water reservoir.

One of my mother's friends has a very sweet tooth. So we took a break on the roof terrace of a pastry shop and ate some lovely cake.

Having fulfilled the cultural duties for the day, I lead the ladies to the Grand Basar - which of course is a cultural monument as well! Besided being a rather psychedelic experience when you go there the first time. All those streets and colors and shops!

We wanted to see Erkan in his shop but it turner out that he had a tooth ache and stayed at home. Instead I ran into Gülseren. When I told her that I was looking for some thread to fix my costume, she offered to give me some since she had so much in her shop. We found a color that matched quite right and she let me take some meters.

I also needed a matching hip scarf for a saidi dress - and she ended up giving it to me as a gift in return for her good rating on my shopping guide!
My mother and her friends bought mostly shirts and the like.
We ran into Princess Farhana and Dilara Sultan, two American dancers who I actually had planned to meet later in the evening. So I could already introduce everybody.

I had us booked for a dinner show at Kervansaray through Serap Su, one of my friends who dances there. This is where Farhana and Dilara joined us.
The food was good as always and plenty! There were 4 dancers this night, Serap Su was the first and also the one we all liked most.

One of the others, Özlem, I had seen before. We called her the Barbie of Bellydance - every time I see her, she has something else done to her body!

Since I was already in the area I walked over to Point hotel when the others went home to get another tango fix. I discovered some more dancers from Switzerland. We are an invasion :-)