Istanbul. Day off.
The whole of the 360 touring party left Istanbul last night, but I decided some time ago that I would stay on here. Given the distance and logistical challenge of getting from here to Switzerland, there are four days between now and the Zurich show. I'm completely over the idea of commuting from Nice and, lovely though the city of Zurich is, it was a no-brainer to take up the option of using these days to explore a place that's completely new to me. The best part is that everyone else has gone and nobody knows I'm here, so hopefully I'll have a few days peace and quiet.
There are some non-tour friends still around, including Gavin Friday who I ran into at breakfast. Ambitions were deliberately low with the only real goals being to relax a bit and to see some of this extraordinary place, so let the tourism begin. We did all the usual run of things, mosques, museums, riverboat trip, etc., and of course a thorough culinary exploration.
Istanbul is this year's European City of Culture so has a programme of special events, exhibits and art happenings, which was an added bonus. One thing I particularly liked was a long series of backlit photographs all along one of the main thoroughfares. I haven't a clue what the black & white reportage photos were documenting (presumably something to do with Turkey's history) but they were highly atmospheric, even just as abstract images.