Istanbul - Mall safari and traces of Spring

On Monday the weather didn't interfere with my plans - I wanted to go shopping and had several malls on my list where it's warm and dry. Basically the perfect rainy day activity!

First though I had to tick off another mode of public transport in Istanbul: the teleferik over Maçka park.
There are just two gondolas on each side that go back and forth over the valley.
View down on the park. One of these "it must be lovely in the Summer" moments....
Walking on the other side and looking back at where I came from.
Here's a fountain for those people who want more water than just what's falling from the sky...
The only way to see tulips in March: at the flower stall.
I arrived in Nişantaşı before 10 AM and the shops were mostly still closed. But there was a pastry shop called Bahar - which means Spring in Turkish. You see, Spring is all around, you just have to look in the right places!
Here's a panoramic view we like!
After walking along a street with all luxury brands I decided to go to a place where I could actually buy things: City's shopping mall. And I was lucky: I found two pairs of ankle boots, one of them I put on right away, they were perfect for the weather and also very comfortable.

So many floors....
Then I walked up the street towards Osmanbey metro station, with many more boutiques on the way.

The metro took me up to Levent from where I chose to ride a taxi to Akmerkez - sometimes a little comfort is nice too. Unfortunately I took it on the wrong side of the big street where you can't turn left and the driver had to make a big detour - so the drive lasted over twice as long. Still it was better than walking in the pouring rain.

Akmerkez is apparently one of the oldest malls here. But there's a newer section called Wepublic. I actually came for this slide - looks cool, right? But with my bags and the coat I had too much stuff on me and they didn't let me go down... boohooo....
It wasn't so bad though because otherwise I might have missed the perfect rain coat! Yes, I tend to shop for the current climate... and I had been looking for a new coat for ages. One that's not just a boring dark color.
Look, flowers! (The light in my apartment isn't great but I'll wear it this week so you will see more of it.)

I pretty soon also threw away the boots that I had brought with me. Not only are they a bit worn out, two days ago the zipper broke - so now that I have new footwear there was no need to carry around heavy old boots.

Fortunately the rain had turned into a drizzle by the time I left the mall, so I walked the way back and I passed by these blossoms. There's hope!
The underpass of the big street by Levent Station leads directly into Metro City (mall number three). I had a bite to eat and strolled around a bit but by now, many of the shops were the same as what I had seen before. 
One place I hadn't been to before was Kanyon. Unfortunately it's not very cold weather friendly because it's partly open - hence the name.
But it offers some interesting views...

There are also some special shops that were worth checking out. With time I got tired though and went back on the metro.

Because I like to be thorough and it has a direct connection to the Şişli station I took it upon me to add a fifth and last shopping center to my excursion: Cevahir. 
But before I could do any shopping I needed to refuel my batteries. It's magical what a nice piece of cake and some hot chocolate can do for you!
So I went at it with new energy and spent another hour hunting for clothes - I was successful too!
By the end I had been around for almost nine hours - time to get some rest!

After a nap and some tidying up I took a taxi to Armada hotel - the ride there is an attraction in itself! Just hard to photograph from a driving car.
I have been going to this milonga for 14 years, ever since I started tango!

The lady in the center is my friend Joana. We keep meeting at milongas by accident. She's from Bulgaria and travels a lot but somehow we always end up here at the same time.
I was placed at a table with some lovely Turkish ladies to chat with inbetween dances. It's nice to meet not only the men you dance with but also fellow female dancers.