25 June 2012


The Zagreb airport was a bit of an adventure. C & E dropped us of, but once inside, the signage was poor. We eventually found our check-in line, and when we got to the front, the agent sent us to another window for security reasons. The next window needed to confirm our credit card, since we bought online. Back in the first window, we checked in, but then had to take one bag (not both?!?) to a third window for another security screening. That done, we zipped through security and to our gate with enough time to blow the remaining 110 kuna (about $20) in the duty-free shop. 

Our flight to Istanbul was full of wrestlers. Apparently, there was some inter-continental wrestling tournament in Croatia, and we had teams from Turkey, Georgia, Azerbaijan, and two other countries on our flight. Fortunately, they left the competition on the mat, and despite my fears to the contrary, there were no impromptu wrestling matches on the plane.

When you land in Turkey, you have to buy a visa. For Americans, it cost $20 (or 15 Euro) and is available at a kiosk right by passport control. The guy who sold us our visas barely looked at our passports - it's just a legal shakedown for some cash from tourists. I guess the Turks think Canadians are richer - their visa costs $65 USD.

Anyhow, we got into town and to the hotel okay. The hotel is pretty nice - unusually shaped rooms in an old building. Clean and well-maintained, but definitely not new. We spent most of the afternoon in the room, getting unpacked and settled, and generally being excited about not having to live out of suitcases for 5 days.

For dinner, we found a nice casual local restaurant. The food was good and the price was awesome. S had a mixed grill (lamb, chicken, breads), and I had lamb wrapped in bread with pistachio yogurt. We had two mezes (appetizers) - roasted red peppers and marinated eggplant, and a pillow bread similar to poori.

After dinner, we walked up the hill to the Blue Mosque at sunset:

We'll head back tomorrow and go inside, but we couldn't tonight (we were there at evening prayers).

There are so many exciting sounds in Istanbul! From the muezzin to the babel of languages to the sound of various vehicles held together by chewing gum and zip ties, it's a recordist's dream. If you want me to record anything, let me know - I'll try my best!

After the Mosque, we headed back to the hotel room so that I could take part in a video chat with sound designers around the world. Where is the future? The future is NOW.

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