What an extraordinary city! It’s been almost 20 years since my last visit (I spent a fortune on a bottle of Chateau Latour) and have been looking forward to arriving here for weeks.
We got in to our hotel late, about 4am Sunday after a show in Macedonia. Everyone was happy, but tired. I woke up at midday and knew I wanted to get over to the old part of the city, which I now know is known as Sultanahmet (named for Sultan Ahmet, get it?). Roger and I took a car across the Galatea bridge, across the beautiful Bospherus late in the afternoon. We made our first visit to a mosque- the Blue Mosque. After so many years to have never entered a mosque before, another first on the AYNIN tour!
The Hagia Sofia was top of my destination list but it was already closed, so we made do with Baclava and a latte- not a bad substitute.
Late evening we all met up on the hotel mezzanine to participate in the ADITM premiere event on Facebook. Nick was super-excited about the Hagia Sophia. After that ended I decided I had to watch “From Russia With Love,” which I downloaded earlier from iTunes. One of my favourite Bond films, and set in Istanbul, it didn’t disappoint. I would be having green figs and yogurt for breakfast, just like JB.
Next day I read the manuscript to In The Pleasure Groove, which had arrived for my perusal, and made some last minute notes. We sound-checked- as were playing Taste the Summer for the first time on the tour. Back to hotel for a bite and more reading, then leave for the show around 8. I rode over with Nick.
Very, very hot shows this month. Lots of sweat. I like it like that. Very high stage. I got a moth in my hair but I was afraid it was something less pleasant, and my number one bass went down. Other than that, I had a great show.
Back to the hotel for a little more work, off to bed about 2am.
Morning coffee and figs again. I had to get over the Hagia Sophia (pronounced Hiya Sophia) and it did not disappoint. If you ever get an opportunity to visit Istanbul do it! It’s amazing.
Lunch on the Bospherus with the band, courtesy of our promoter, and then a divine motor launch along the coast. Stopping for a swim after half an hour.
It doesn’t get any better than this!
On the road to the airport now, rush hour traffic, destination BELGRADE!