Istanbul - get clean and dirty again

On Friday morning I picked up Mona from her hotel and we walked to one of my preferred hamams.
It was so nice to just relax and sit around in the heat!
I noticed that the old Turkish mamas who used to do the rubbing and massage had  been replaced by young women. Well, it's hard work after all!
Fortunately we came early enough to be there before a group of German women, so there was enough time for us.


Back at the festival I took a workshop with Özgen. He's a really gret dancer and also a fun teacher which I always like.

I just wonder how the dancers are doing who took the full festival package and take 4 or 5 workshops a day, even if they are just 1,5 hours. Their brains must be fried at some point, especually since there is a lot of choreography.


During the break I went to the hotel's café to have some chocolate cake and fix my costume for the Saturday show.

Then I had to find out that the Asena workshop I was looking forward to had actually taken place the day before!
My agenda is a big mess!

The people at the booking counter were nice enough to let me book a workshop the next day instead.

So I suddenly had a lot of free time and I decided to use it to check out the hotel I had booked for August.

It was really close to the tram station but not in a very nice neighborhood - and most importantly it was located very close to a mosque which would be sure to wake me up early every morning.

So I decided that I'd rather be one tram station further away in a more quiet area instead.
Walking around Laleli I found several affordable alternatives. And I also found out that if you talk to the receptionist they can almost always give you a discount!


This is a poster I saw in the way. Something for the Iranian tourists.

Since I was already walking around I also checked for a place where I could get a much needed manicure.

I ended up with a Russian girl who spent most of the time while she was working on my nails skyping with her mother on her iPhone while I watched the Russian pop music charts on TV. That's one way of doing it...


We had dinner in one of the little restaurants by the hotel where the food was cheap and good, the staff very friendly and the cashier a pretty young man. What more do you want?


This being Friday night, there were of course several milongas to choose from. Unfortunately we weren't so lucky with our picks. 

The first was close to the Galata tower.
It had about 1/3 more women than men which means that we got very few dances.


So we walked up Istiklal Caddesi to another place which had been recommended to us. 
Elisa spent most of her time there going through the tango dresses for sale and trying them on. 
I got only one more round of dancing, but at least it was very enjoyable.