Istanbul - Last minute shopping!

I slept in on Sunday and then packed my suitcase. I was barely able to close it - wondering if I can make the weight limit at the airport? If not, there's still hand luggage!
It might be because I bought a lifetime supply of green pants... Among other things.
This and some new shoes plus a lot of little accessories.
I was sad to have to leave my little house - I will definitely come back to it!
You too can stay there, it's called Holiday Home Rota and I recommend it!

But my flight was only in the late afternoon - enough time for another stairs workout!
By now it was noon and the tourists wandering the streets were much more visible than during the week when they get lost in the crowds. Some where looking quite lost and I nearly wanted to stop and guide them. But then I didn't want to spoil their adventure of finding things themselves.

No Istanbul trip would be complete without eating this cheap but very delicious meal!
There wasn't enough time for a longer walk or a visit to the hammam as I had intended.
Instead I walked along Istikal street and suddenly found myself in the huge, 5 floors H&M - the only shop I hadn't been to yet! I know we have them at home but as you can probably guess by now, everything is cheaper here.

I went to all 5 floors and tried on tons of clothes of which I bought some.
The shop is so big that I witnessed two cases of people who had lost their friends and were desperately trying to find them again!

On my way back to the house the "Bastards" a bike gang was getting ready for their Sunday ride.
Well good luck with that - it started raining just then. Yes, Istanbul was crying because I was leaving!
It could have waited though until I had schlepped my luggage to the airport shuttle bus though. Just saying...

Back at the house I studied my packing situation. The only things that really needed to go into hand luggage were my 4 ceramics bowls. I stuffed my suitcase to the max and the last clothes into my big handbag. Voilà - no extra luggage!

I still had enough time but with the rain I wasn't motivated to go out and do anything. Instead I decided to head to the airport early.

Good-bye rainy Istanbul...
Masterfully stuffed baggage - the suitcase was "only" 22 kg! Still one kilo under the limit.

I had received some tax-free forms in 3 shops and with all the spare time I went through the hassle of getting the refunds.
Which meant that I first had to get a stamp on the forms and then after passport control go to the cash out counter. 
To make it more fun, there are two different tax-free companies so I had to go to two different areas in the airport. The first was by the food court and it turned out that the refund money from two shops was just enough to buy me a chocolate cake...
The second counter was close to my departure gate - and I got even less money.
Moral of the story: tax-free refunds are only worth it if you buy a lot of really expensive things.

I spent the rest of my waiting time reading the book which I hadn't opened since the moment the plane had arrived in Istanbul... I finished it shortly before landing in Zurich.

Now I am back home, but I must go to Istanbul again - I still haven't done all the things on my to-do list :-) And then there are 1000 other good reasons... I just love the city and it loves me back.