What has been missing on this trip so far? A proper Turkish breakfast!
To fix this I met with Lara (if you have been reading my Istanbul blogs before, you have seen her on several occasions). She led me to Kahve 6, a cute little restaurant, where we both ordered big breakfasts. The one on top is hers, a vegan version, while I went for the traditional one.
It's a great way to slowly eat and chat the morning away. Lara told me about her life as an English tutor and occasional dancer in Istanbul as well as her recent trip to Nepal.
I returned shortly to my hotel to get some extra things for my planned trip to the hamam.
My walk there led me through the Tarlabaşı neighborhood. Until recently this was concidered a really bad area with shady inhabitants. Now, the run down buildings are renovated one buy one.
This one is probably just going be torn down soon....
Here an entire street block has been torn down to be completely rebuilt.
This is the orthodox church of Saint Constantin.
And the hamam was colorful too! Actually this is the men's entrance, the women's door is around the corner and of course plainer as always.
After all the walking through the rain, bein in a warm place was just what I needed!
Well actually, after I had soaked myself in water she let me lie on the hot marble for quite a long time.
With only the sounds of dripping water in the room and the rain on the room this is a good moment to relax and let your mind wander.
So while I wasn't exactly thrilled with the lousy weather, I contemplated that it might also be good for me. In recent years I had often done so many things every day when I was in Istanbul. Walking around for hours, trying to see as much as possible - add to that all the tango dancing and I was usually quite exhausted by the end of the week.
But the constant rain was a chance for me to slow down a bit and relax.
After getting scrubbed down and getting my foam massage I slowly got dressed.
While a bunch of Turkish women passed the afternoon in the entrance hall watching a Bollywood film dubbed in Turkish and smoking...
Now I know, you might think it's crazy to go to Starbucks in Istanbul - but hey, it's what all the locals do! Also: Bellavista cake. And free WiFi. What's not to like?
Also, see that classy dinner? It's all I had time for that evening...
But first I enjoyed the view!
I enjoyed the show and joined in when people got up to dance.
This little girl clearly was awestruck by the glitter princess in front of her.
And since you have already seen every meal of that day, here's my first Birthday cake! More to follow of course.