Istanbul - Canim, I am back!

Just because I am travelling solo it doesn't mean that I am always alone - this time I already bumped into Verena, a fellow dancer, and her fiancé Jonathan in Zurich airport, while waiting to board my flight to Istanbul! 

We had to circle over Istanbul a few times due to the wind conditions. I didn't mind much because I had a window seat and an excellent view of the Black Sea beaches and the northern end of the Bosphorus where they are apparently building a new bridge.
Asian side of Istanbul - one of my goals on this trip 
Topkapi Saray - definitely not a goal on this trip! Seen it 5 times, thank you very much...
After we had landed and collected our suitcases I switched into guide mode and showed the others how to get on the shuttle bus to Taksim since their hotel is close to mine.

By the time we got off the bus we were all so hungry that we sat down in the first restaurant we saw and had some late lunch.
If you want to have a secure job in Istanbul, become a gardener! These are rolling out fresh grass over Gezi Park
Cobble stone pattern around the monument on Taksim Square
We first walked to my little house (staying at a holiday home instead of a hotel this time) where a friendly young man called Celal was waiting for me to hand me over the key, since there is no reception.
It's i cool little place, I have a bedroom, living room and kitchen, each on a different floor.
When I tried to open the wooden shutters of my bedroom window, just a little push was enough to send one of them flying down on the street! I cried out loud and probably saved the live of a Chinese tourist who was just walking in front of the house and nearly got hit by the falling shutter!

Celal promised to fix it soon and then helped Verena and Jonathan to find their own hotel.

I just quickly dropped my luggage and went out again as it was already late afternoon. I tried to go to Legend costumes (and even found it quickly this time, success!) but they had already gone home. 
No problem - just a quick walk down Istiklal Street brought me to Sim Moda, another tailor of dance costumes. 
He too had closed the shop but was working in his atelier. And who was the person I bumped into there? My old friend Serap Su! She was wearing most of a costume and waiting for Ismail to finish the belt.
We had a little chat and I looked at some of the beautiful costumes he had there. Some really nice colors and materials but nothing I wanted to buy. I better just go back when the shop is open and there's more to see.
So I went back out and joined the craziness that is Istiklal Caddesi on a late Saturday afternoon. People, so many people!
I started checking out the shoe shops but my first mission was to go to the tango shoe shop and pick up some pairs that a friend of mine had ordered. So I walked downhill towards the Bosphorus. This area, whis is also where I am staying, i called Cihangir. It has a lot of cool little shops and restaurants.

Dedicated to my green color scheme for this trip - I even drink green!
Cute shop
This shop has great bags, I bought two small ones.
In the window... Cats are EVERYWHERE in Istanbul. They own the city. And they will sleep wherever they please, even in a shop window.
I don't usually take so many cat pictures, but what a perfect ball of fur :-)
You can even see cats when they are not there...
Dinner time! Perfect table cloth. This is what people here call an omelette...
I arrived in tango shoe heaven! Picked up the shoes and then went back to my little house bause it had started raining.
Flowers everywhere
After some rest I made ready for the nightlife.
Cihangir is built on a very steep hill... It's either small streets or a lot of stairs if you want to go somewhere.
I saw more shoes, even some with wings!
And I found out again that even a "mini patisserie" is nearly a full meal here! Rasperry and chocolate cake... Just the right amount of sugar and fat to get me ready to tango!

The 333 milonga was not as full as usual. I was told that this was due to a big festival in town. I didn't mind.
I still got to dance a lot, and with some good dancers too, so my evening was a success!