Istanbul in 2000 - Play it again!

In September of 2000 I went to Istanbul for the second time, four years after I first set foot there. Taking along my friend Susanne who had never been there - but would develop quite an addiction to the place, just like me. She even started learning Turkish later!

We had a hotel called "Zurich" - probably so that we wouldn't forget the name :-) It was situated in Laleli and even had a pool on the roof - although the water in it was rather cold for swimming.

But the view from the terrace was nice, we also got to enjoy it for breakfast.
One of our goals was of course to buy dance costumes. This is the view from SIM Moda Evi over Istiklal street.
Of all the costumes they had in the shop, the one I liked best was actually not intended for dancing but for a singer. I wanted it anyway. All it needed was additional fringe around the hips which they added for me. It was really worth it because I loved this costume and wore it a lot.

The glitter shoes I am wearing in this picture are from Istanbul as well. I bought them in a shop in Laleli - and area that is kind of "Little Russia". A lot of Russian tourists go there, not just to shop for themselves but also buying in bulk in the many wholesale stores.
The vendors in this shoe shop only spoke Turkish and Russian. But no worries, Susanne had studied Russian at university and helped me out - she told me, it was her first time buying shoes in this langugage because when she visited Russia, there weren't any she would want.

Since it was Susanne's first visit to Istanbul, we went through the whole tourist program:

Walking over Galata Bridge is always great for the views
Blue Mosque

Aya Sofya
Basilica Cistern - such a special atmosphere

Walking around Sultanahmet

The beautiful Topkapi Saray

I can never resist a wall of tiles...
Hello there!
Lovely details on palace furniture

Of course we also went to the Turkish Night Show at Orient House
They had a lot of dancers that night.
Unfortunately I can't remember which one of the dancers it was - but one of them made me come to my "Cold Fish Theory" - if a dancer is so good that I completely forget my food and the fish on my plate is cold by the end of her performance - she must be really good!
Powerful folk dancing

Serious heel skills! It's mandatory for all Turkish dancers!
  Guess where we're from?

This time I even won a medal in the Bellydance "contest". Well, they give one to everyody who gets on stage...
Oddly, I can't recall a lot more of the things we did - but I do remember a lot of what we talked about and the jokes we made during this trip. Funny how the mind works...

It was the time before digital photography, so here's a panorama, old school style!
Looking towards Galata