Istanbul - Business and an awesome view

I could have just taken the tram to the bazaar - but walking is much more interesting! 

Just take a little turn away from the main road.

Suddenly you are in the cute small streets of a hipster neighborhood with abundant street art.
And inviting cafés and restaurants.


Quirky shops
I guess this is what the definition of a "hole in the wall" is :-)
Little church - not sure if it's still in service though.
Walking down to the water - hello Topkapi Saray!
Galata Bridge
Colorful restaurant boats in Eminönü
Come for the fish bread
Mosque by the Spice bazaar
Typical animal of Istanbul no. 3 - flying rats AKA pigeons....
I only took a short turn in the bazaar because one of my tasks of the day was to update my shopping guide for dancers. So I have to check if all the shops are still around! Another had actually vanished, only one was left.

Then I walked on to Sultanahmet, finding another shop gone...
People had complained about slow business for dance costumes when I was here in April, so it didn't really come as a surprise.

Moving on to Aksaray however I found two shops that were apparently doing well, thanks mostly to Japanese and other Asian customers.

The Gök brothers had started their business together but have since seprated and have each a shop in the same building. They do really great work!
You should see the costumes from up close, they are gorgeous and well made. 
I used to tell people that this building is opposite the blue house but that is no longer the case! Dogan's shop has a window that goes right out to the demolition site....
Walking towards the Grand Bazaar I saw this flowery shop window.
I just had to pick up an order from the bazaar and didn't stay long since I had other plans for the afternoon - up to here my day had been strictly business so to speak.
I brought my stuff home and changed my clothes because I had gotten really sweaty. It's definitely very warm for the season. Over 20 degrees celsius!

Then I got on the metro to 4. Levent in the north of Istanbul. Right on top of the metro station is Sapphire tower, Turkey's highest building. It has a terrace on the 54th floor from which you have a great view all over Istanbul. The fun thing is that the city looks different depending on which side you are looking at.
Ever growing north Istanbul and the third Bosphorus bridge in the background.

Te Asian side where I had been the day before.
Right under the tower
The best time for going on a tower is always before sunset of course!
I took a lot of pictures and as always it was hard to choose just a few. So here are more!
It was very windy up there and I had a really hard time putting my cardigan on as it just got blown up.
Made it! 
The pictures of me were taken by some friendly tourists from Lebanon. The girl's hair blew up like a fire in the wind!

Glorious sunset
Here's a cool short video of the traffic:

And the moon coming out
The city lights up.
See the 2 towers in the front? We'll see more of them...
Blue towers!
Red towers! This time from the street level. Including the moon behind them.

It was about 5:30 PM and I decided to go home and get some rest. 
After all I needed to be fresh for tango at night!

The monday milonga at the Armada hotel is a classic. I have been going there ever since I practically started to dance tango 12 years ago. It's an elegant place with a nice marble floor.
They have a special "foreign visitors" table where I was seated. This is where I met a Turkish guy who lives close to Zurich - small world!
It was a great milonga and a I had a good time until the very end - which was at 1 AM since it's a weekday milonga.