Istanbul- Karaköy and Dolmabahce palace

As we had started our Friday by visiting a mosque, why not go to a church on Saturday?
The St. Anton basilika is just two minutes from our hotel and easy to visit. It's actually one of the few churches I found here that are open to the public all the time.
Morning is the best time to go there because the light shines straight through the big windows.

Michėle lighted some candles...
Coming out of the church we were happy to see the blue sky - finally!
On to the street art around the corner.

Walking down Bogazkesen Caddesi I found this friendly face.
There are a lot of nice little shops on this street. At least one of us always found something to buy.
Mama's got a brand new bag! Two actually... at %100istanbul, a shop that sells bags made from recycled materials.
We were so glad that it was a sunny day!
Rainbow stairs, old version....
...and new version, including a cat of course, because they are everywhere in Istanbul.
Walking back along a big construction site.
One of several mosques in Karaköy
We visited the next one, Kilic Ali Pasa mosque. More colorful stained glass windows.

Time for a rest, sitting in the sun at LOL café.
A bit more strolling later we needed some lunch and went to Pim restaurant because that's what one does on a Saturday. As a dessert we divided this cheescake by four. It's just so delicious - but no way you could eat it alone after a main course.
Happy shoppers, ready for more action!
Just chill.
Ladies, do you want to see a palace? Of course!
Dolmabahce palace is close by, so that's where we went. I have seen it 4 or 5 times already but it's a place I always like to revisit, it's so beautiful and impressive.
I even found some early tulips!
Fighting animals
The grand entrance
No photos allowed during the tour, but here's one of me after we got out on the other side with just a little flower pot.
What a view!
Garden detail
Nice exit too.
The füniküler took us back up to Taksim square where we went into the first make-up shop we saw for "just some nail polish"... but the one of us got a complete make over.
At the Hard Rock shop there's a little passage with cool lights. Perfect for selfies.
Just another lovely sunset - but this time we weren't motivated to climb up to the terrace. Why bother when the view from the hotel room is so good?
After a little rest we went out again for the evening's program. First a quick dinner...
Then on to Hocapasa cultural center, located in a former hammam. Even their toilet looks good.
I had seen the spectacular show last September and was happy to take my group there to watch it.

So much variety, and they use the walls for projections to create different moods.

It looks nice, but I bet the dancers all hate wearing these tulip chandeliers...
The glitter dress we all dream of...
Fun folk dances
A superb drummer and her dancer
On to the finale
Lamps in the lobby
The old train station is just around the corner. This is where the Orient Express used to arrive.
In the waiting hall.
A little stop for the view at Karaköy harbour
Going uphill
The Galata tower looks great at night too.
There were even a few open shops on the way up the hill and we rewarded them with our purchases.
It's never too late to shop!
All that was left to do was have a drink in the hotel lobby to celebrate another great day in Istanbul.