Heavenly blue Elaine and John, John and Yoko: reflections in a giraffe made of mirrors in the Pera Museum Tram in Pera Sirkeci Railway Station, terminus for the Orient Express 1 Sirkeci 2 Tired of all that shunting?
The day included visits to: another mosque near Yildiz Palace; an Art Nouveau guest-house in the middle of a densely wooded park where Kaiser Wilhelm stayed in the build-up to WW1; Dolmabahce Palace, whose colossal and intricately decorated rooms underscored how stupefyingly greedy and display-obsessed people can become, with many of these palaces funded not from true wealth but from loans that helped bring the Ottoman Empire to its knees; the Pera Museum, including a number of iconic works by Zonaro; and, something Elaine and I undertook on our own, a visit to the Sirkeci Railway Station, built in 1889 as the terminus for the Orient Express – and there we remembered the days when she worked with Richard Goodwin while he was making the film of Murder on the Orient Express.
I remember her coming home one evening and saying she had opened the door to a man who was carrying a suit on its way back from the dry-cleaners and assumed he was the dry-cleaner, only to discover he was Albert Finney.
In the evening, we head off to Rejans, one of a number of restaurants founded by White Russians after the Revolution. Kicked off with lemon vodka and went on to a red wine that smelled and tasted like the back seat of a 1950s American sedan. Don’t ask me how I know.