Istanbul - Bazaar fun and Meyhane fun

There was still some water left in the sky over Istanbul and it fell down on us on Friday... but we certainly didn't let that stop us. What is the perfect place for a day like this? The Grand Bazaar of course! 
On the way there we made some stops like this one on the metro bridge.
Always a great view.
Next up: The beautiful Sehzade mosque.

There were just a few men who had come to pray, otherwise it was empty and very calm and quiet. Just the right mood to experience such a place.
But the scenery changed dramatically when we got to the bazaar. Even though it wasn't crazy crowded, there were all those shops and colors!

It's good to have an oasis like Ali Baba shop where one can sit down and rest from time to time. My friend Erkan who works there even took us around when I asked for somebody who could silver plate one of my old metal boxes I had bought the day before.
All of us had some things to buy on our minds. Here is Claudia, looking at gem stones.
We walked around for a while, until we got hungry. The big Havuzlu restaurant is always a great place to eat, with very attentive waiters and good food.
It was still cold though! Warming our hands on the hot coals.
Some impressions from the shop.

So much nice work - one day I will buy one of those backgammon boards...
I love Turkish tiles - and their patterns also look good on vases.
In the end we had all been successful, as you can see!
Walking outside again, through the girls' dress street.
There's a café in a former hammam that I had found by accident a few years ago but hadn't been able to locate since then. Thanks to Google maps I finally found it and guided my ladies there. Unfortunately the restaurant is closed now, but two of the other rooms are still open and in use as textiles shops.
So at least I got a nice shot of the hammam ceiling.
From there we continued on to Büyük Valide Han and wandered through the old corridors.
Besides old workshops there are also new shops that use these rooms, like a jewelry designer. Domed ceilings can also be found here.
Want a shark or astronaut to hang around your neck? This is the place for you! Erdin Ersoy creates really cool jewelry.
A little stove to heat up the small room 
Due to the rain the door to the rooftop was closed, as it is too dangerous to walk on the slippery ground up there. But we got a nice view over the bazaar from the side.

On the way down to Eminönü: The secret blue door...
Art deco details
Down at the Spice Bazaar - the ladies bought spices of course!
And some apple tea
Magic mushrooms, made of chocolate.
Newly painted ceiling
Here I am!
One of the best backgrounds for a pose! No those aren't all my bags, I was just helping out...
...because Michèle won the day's Shopping Queen award! She was just a little exhausted. She really finds something to buy in EVERY shop!
Never waste a good sunset.
After we had our rest, there was more fun to be had: We went to Sade Meyhane, a traditional Turkish restaurant. It was packed and I was glad that I had reserved a table.
Party girls
The waiters loaded our table with meze and there seemed to be coming more and more delicious food our way.
Four musicians made their rounds through the restaurant, playing at every table.

Of course they also played for us!
A little dance is always good
Then came the dancer! There was hardly any place for her to move, so she mostly danced on chairs. But her job was not to present great art but rather to entertain and get the guests up to dance with her, so it didn't matter too much.
We enjoyed the food and the atmosphere greatly and stayed until midnight.