Istanbul - Tulips and Brides

One goal of staying in a not-hotel place off the main attractions was to "go local".
And this means I have to go out and get my own breakfast - which proved to be a challenge on a Sunday morning shortly before 10 AM. There's a restaurant nearby that promises "breakfast every day" but when I got there the lady who worked there had just begun preparing my food... So I ate whatever she had ready, mostly a lot of cheese and yesterday's börek.
After that I started to wander around the neighbourhood. The original plan was to get to Istiklal caddesi but I got lost in the labyrinth of the Cihangir streets. They are very randomly layed out and it's a lot of walking up and down. 
But I found an open Carrefour where I bought cereals and fruit for the next morning.

Walking on I suddenly arrived by the mainstreet and the waterfront.
From there I searched my way back home, passing by some nice old-school wooden houses.
The entire area has so many cozy little restaurants and a lot of people were out for brunch by now.
I want a second stomach so I can eat all the lovely food I see!
Painted walls... The Hero graffiti is on many walls here.
At noon Verena came to my place and we walked towards Kabatas together from where we caught a bus to Besiktas.

Public phones with a local flavor....
Our goal was Yildiz park, and it was so worth it! The tulips were giving it all!
Posing with funny animals

I found a pink Caddilac!
Then we started noticing the brides.... This park is very popular with wedding and engagement couples for taking pictures. There were big dresses and glitter everywhere!

This is the sister of a bride. Man, we were starting to feel really underdressed!
Not getting married but engaged. Therefore not wearing white - this is one thing we learned.
They all had their professional photographers and assistants.
Fixing the dress for the picture
The park is really lovely, no wonder they all came here!
Palace wall
Yildiz park is huge and also popular for picknicks.
They even changed the licence plate for the day.
Tulips galore

On top of the hill there's a restaurant with a great view. We had a little rest and something to drink there.
It must be Spring...
Heart shaped umbrella!
The photographer had climbed up the cherry tree for a special angle. I was a bit concerned for his safety and that of the tree!
Posing with tulips
Yildiz Saray, the palace in the park - with lazy ducks
The old part of the palace is made of wood, inside and outside. Apparently this was the custom because of the earthquakes that sometimes happen here.
Dining room
Wonderful door
Kaiser Willhelm slept here
Something for the tile lovers
A magnificent stove
Mirror selfie!
Meeting hall with a gigantic carpet that took 22 women a year to make. They also had to knock out some windows so that they could bring it in here!

More garden posing
And more tulips
The Tulip Bride
Hello again! The flower star refers to the name of the par. Yildiz means star.
We had spent quite a lot of time in the park and palace. The perfect Sunday afternoon!

Then we strolled back to Besiktas and had some lahmacun to get fresh energy. A dolmus (minibus) ride later we were back in Taksim and walked to Verena's hotel where Jonathan was waiting for us.
We drank lemonades on the lovely terrace by the street.
I returned to my own place for a short nap and a change of clothes. I noticed that by now some streets started to look familiar and I might actually get the hang of navigating Cihangir by the end of the week.

Together with Jonathan's good old friend Reza we had a fun dinner
And some tango! I recognized several faces from past visits to Ponte milonga.
I left around midnight because I hadn't slept much the night before.
Was very proud to find the way back home without looking at the map! And it's a 15 minutes walk after all.