'A palace indeed...'

04 September 2010
'A palace indeed...'
Travel day.  Athens - Istanbul.

I suppose technically today was the travel day, as the entire journey took place after Friday midnight.  On days like this, times and dates begin to take on something of an arbitrary nature, a feeling which has mutated into being one of the themes of the show.

Having made it to Air 360 from the €˜runner€™ out of the stadium, I was surprised how short a flight it was to Istanbul.  That said, it was still gone 3am by the time we got out of the airport and piled into vans which took us to what appeared, under shroud of night, to be some kind of vast waterfront palace.  By the time we€™d had a drink waiting for our bags and made it to our rooms it was very late.  I think my head hit the pillow around 5am, in fact I know it was exactly 5am as the first early-shift muezzin was kicking off.  I had a moment of anxiety, thinking this might keep my desperately tired body awake, but the next thing I knew it was nearly noon.

Waking up and pulling back the curtains revealed that we are in fact at a vast waterfront palace.  The Ciragan Palace, to be precise, dating to the 16th century, though the current structure is mostly 20th.  The hotel sits directly on the western bank of the Bosphorus and is staggeringly, hilariously over-the-top.  A palace indeed.

We'd been told that given the hour of our arrival, breakfast would be served til 1pm in a separate room somewhere.  I staggered down several colossal marble staircases and padded about on thick rug-covered floors til I found the right place.  There was a vast buffet comprising mountains of fresh fruit and breakfast items, set up in a jaw-droppingly opulent room that led out onto a sun-drenched stone veranda overlooking the water, arranged with tables laid with sparkling silverware and white napery.   Much joy and giggling ensued as our ragged touring party reassembled, all with morning faces and mussed hair.  This€™ll do then.

I aimed low for the rest of the day, as I€™m hoping to stay on here for a couple of days after the show and do my sightseeing then.  Today I felt the need to rest up a bit, the only small chore being reworking the 'questions' piece with Smasher and trying to figure out why After Effects wouldn€™t read Turkish script, having strode through Greek and Russian.  We (i.e. Smasher) figured it out in the end leaving me to contemplate the Turkish sunset and have an early night.

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