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Operation Euro 2013: The Istanbul Venetian Affair Film Location Tour PDF Print E-mail
Written by Richard Skillman   
Saturday, 20 July 2013 08:48

REPORT FROM STATION T and BEYOND

From Istanbul-Vienna-Prague-Karlovy Vary-Munich-Cortina to Venice

Hosted by Richard and Leslie Skillman

July 2013 NEW YORK JFK AIRPORT

ISTANBUL: The mission began with agents assembling in the new Delta SKYCLUB luxury SKYBAR, which is outside and provides a spectacular view of the city and airplanes departing while we sipped on our last martini before boarding. Our flights delivered us all safe and sound at the Ataturk Airport in Istanbul and from there our check in at the Surmeli Hotel, our base of operations for the next few days.

IF YOU HAVE TO ASK THE PRICE OF MARTINIS…Our first stop on the tour was the PERA PALAS hotel, while incorrectly identified as the hotel James Bond stays at in the novel, FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE, it was the very hotel where Agatha Christie wrote MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS. Our waiters, all huge Bond fans, treated us to a wonderful mushroom risotto along with their own 007 brand martini. We visited Ataturk’s office, housed here as a museum, with many of the Turkish leaders’ belongings and papers. We then taxied up the waterside to the beautiful Dolmabahce Palace, nestled on the Bosporus and one of Istanbul’s prized museums. Adjacent to the Palace are two world class resorts, the FOUR SEASONS and the CIRAGEN KEMPINSKI PALACE, the latter was used by the SKYFALL cast as its hotel and the site of the Press Announcement for SKYFALL. Incredibly very good martinis are served here, we recommend them, note the $30 per martini cost for your MI6 or CIA expense accounts.

 

Our drive down to the city through Taksim Square takes us by the gate seen as the RUSSIAN EMBASSY in FRWL and we have our group photo. A great tour followed of TOPKAPI Palace, easily a day in itself with its massive grounds and the location for the heist caper film of the same name.

Next stop is the Grand Bazaar, which is figured prominently in both SKYFALL and FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE. Entering the Nuru Osmaniye Mosque gate entrance, we recreate Connery’s 007 walk through the Bazaar to meet with Karim Bey.  Look for the stone fountain on the main "highway" of the Bazaar. Other locations within the Bazaar are the HAN, the exterior upstairs patio where Red Grant spies on Tania as she goes to meet with Klebb and Gate 7, which is the gate Daniel Craig poses on the motorcycle in front of.

Also, you can find the gate area that was rigged with a false wall and window for SKYFALL’s Patrice to crash his motorcycle through. Other SKYFALL locations included the Bazaar path and stairs up to the roof. No 007 would leave the rooftop unchecked, and our group made our way to the rooftops for photos and marveling at the SKYFALL (and TAKEN2 and INTERNATIONAL) sequences filmed here. The view is amazing on the roof and one could imagine the logistics of filming the SKYFALL chase up here!

 

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 31 December 2013 08:57 )
Read more: Operation Euro 2013: The Istanbul Venetian Affair Film Location Tour
 
Buena Vista Casino Royale site reopens PDF Print E-mail
Written by Richard Skillman   
Wednesday, 17 April 2013 08:01

Fellow Agents who joined us for our Nassau Reloaded tour, visited the Buena Vista Hotel, site of the Embassy scenes in Casino Royale, which was then under renovation by John Watling's...with pleasure, we can share it is open for business!

 

 

JOHN WATLING’S DISTILLERY OPENS ITS DOORS AT THE

SITE OF THE NEWLY RENNOVATED AND LEGENDARY bUENA VISTA ESTATE in THE HEART OF DOWNTOWN nassau, the Bahamas

John Watling’s Rum MAKES ITS DEBUT AS THE premium

‘spirit of the bahamas’

Nassau, The Bahamas, April 16, 2013 – John Watling's Distillery – JOHN WATLING’S rum, the “Spirit of The Bahamas”, announced today that it has opened its doors for complimentary tours at its home, the Buena Vista Estate, in Downtown Nassau. The historic Estate, founded in 1789 and overlooking the harbour, is the site where Bahamians hand-craft JOHN WATLING’S small-batch Pale, Amber and Buena Vista rums. At the Estate, John Watling’s features a production and museum-like tour, shopping and signature Bahamian cocktails at its Red Turtle Tavern. Within walking distance from the cruise ship port, John Watling’s Distillery is located on Delancy Street and is open from 10am-6pm, seven days a week.

John Watling’s Distillery has worked with the Antiquities, Monument and Museum Corporation (AMMC), the National Insurance Board (NIB), N&M Architects and Coastline Construction to refurbish the Buena Vista Estate to its original splendor. The restoration, which also includes the construction of a 10,000 square foot purpose-built barrel ageing and production facility as its storehouse, lasted more than a year.

“It is very important to us that John Watling’s Distillery and the Buena Vista Estate celebrate the rich history and heritage of The Bahamas. We have made sure that everything from our distillery to our rums is of the highest quality,” said Jose B. Portuondo, Founding Partner. “John Watling’s Distillery is a must-see stop in Nassau – In fact, here visitors will find a multisensory experience which features history, architecture, natural beauty, sweeping views of the harbour and the chance to take home a bottle of John Watling’s rum”.

The Estate:

Set on more than two acres of lush tropical gardens with centenary black olive trees, The Buena Vista Estate has been part of the history of Nassau, New Providence, and The Bahamas since 1789. Construction started on the house the same year as the United States Constitution was enacted; George Washington was elected President of the United States, and the start of the French Revolution.

The legendary Buena Vista Home hosted many famous patrons in the past, including everyone from Robert Mitchum and Bobby Kennedy to Ed Sullivan and Joan Crawford. The Estate made its Hollywood debut when it was featured in the James Bond film Casino Royale starring Daniel Craig.

The newly renovated Buena Vista Estate now serves as the visitor experience for John Watling’s Distillery, featuring antique furnishings, interactive exhibits, a retail store, and a tavern. It will also be made available for corporate and private functions.

Last Updated ( Thursday, 11 December 2014 08:02 )
Read more: Buena Vista Casino Royale site reopens
 
"Bond"ing In Britain-SKYFALL Premiere PDF Print E-mail
Written by Richard Skillman   
Thursday, 08 November 2012 14:38

We spent an over the top week with Bond friends, Bond Magazine & Tour editors,  writers and Fan Club Presidents, all in London to attend the Royal World Premiere of "Skyfall", the 23rd James Bond film, celebrating 50 years of the franchise. It was great to connect with friends we have traveled all over the world with enjoying the film sites and locations of James Bond films. The Bond marketing machine pulled out all the stops in London, with billboards on every corner and bus, decorated windows in Harrods and several key Bond centric exhibitions.

Bondstars.com hosted a Dr.No event at Pinewood Studios which included Sir Roger Moore in attendance discussing his new book, "Bond on Bond". A newly mastered digital print of "Dr.No" was shown to the audience after many of the remaining crew and cast were introduced, including James Bond theme music composer, Monte Norman and the first Bond girl,  Eunice Gayson. A hearty English meal was provided with we were delighted to have the opportunity to dine with Golden Girl, Shirley Eaton from "Goldfinger". Many Bond stars were on hand to sign photos and rare collectables were for sale from many well known Bond vendors.

"On The Tracks of 007" Author Martijn Mulder hosted a pre-Pinewood party and we had a wonderful time reconnecting with many friends in the Bond world. Martijn has been a strong supporter of our travels around the world to James Bond film sites and is hard at work on another update of his very popular resource guide.

 

Last Updated ( Friday, 16 November 2012 15:19 )
Read more: "Bond"ing In Britain-SKYFALL Premiere
 
Florida James Bond Club Celebrates James Bond Day PDF Print E-mail
Written by Richard Skillman   
Wednesday, 03 October 2012 07:34

The Florida James Bond Club Orlando Section F fan club  observed the 50th anniversary of James Bond with a "James Bond Golden 50th" celebration created by Richard and Leslie Skillman.

Held in Orlando, guests were feted to an evening of Gold...entering the event through a faux "Fort Knox" entrance as an Aston Martin DB9, sat out front on display for photos, courtesy of Orlando Aston Martin.

 

The guests spent time among a variety of tables of Bond collectable items from the Skillman's collection with most items centered around the evening's film, "Goldfinger".

Event sponsor, Jerry Spoto of  Bollinger, the champagne of choice by 007, presented a  "History of Bond & Bollinger". Jerry shared with the guests a tasting of the 2002 Special Cuvee, and toasted the founding father of James Bond, Ian Fleming and the film production company EON for the legendary franchise they have created. Spoto discussed the film appearances of the bubbly and how Bond and Bollinger began their relationship.

 

Last Updated ( Friday, 16 November 2012 15:13 )
Read more: Florida James Bond Club Celebrates James Bond Day
 
Dr. No at AMC Theaters PDF Print E-mail
Written by Richard Skillman   
Friday, 21 September 2012 06:52

Attention Florida James Bond Fans, join the Florida 007 Club at the Downtown Disney AMC Theaters Monday, September 24th for a digital showing of "Dr. No" at 7 pm. Meet other Bond fans and enjoy seeing the first of 23 films and get ready for "Skyfall", premiering November!

 

Last Updated ( Friday, 21 September 2012 06:57 )
 
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