I love a good spy movie. Especially Cold War Circa. Finally was able to view this film after months of waiting. I understood the premise, saw how it ended, but have no idea what went on in between! I'm sorry to say, I was totally lost. While British actors are among my favorites, I have a difficult time understanding their lines due to the accent. So I missed out on most of the development. Guess I'll need to watch an encore with closed captions for the 'accent' impaired.
The scenery in the movie was beautiful and exotic. London, Paris, Istanbul and Budapest. Anyone ever been to these places? Please tell us 3 things that you like the most about these cities, and why. Be specific and provide details! Also please tell us about your Marriott stay in these cities. Again, we love details!
Well, that was the point really (can read the book, which will probably top the movie). Much has been posted on this site regarding Paris and London (especially today!), but I would love to learn more about Budapest (on my list) and Istanbul (still considering). Even though there are places that we all may know quite a bit about, it's still interesting to know what everyone's top 3 favorite attractions are, and equally important, why. Hearing about peoples favorites is a different way to learn about a place, and can shed new perspective on a destination. Also, with so many Marriott properties at each of these locations, it's nice to know everyone's favorites. I have only been to one of these 4 cities - Paris, and I'll post my 3 favorite Paris attractions and why they're my faves shortly. I am going back next month, and while most of my time will be spent visiting previously seen sights (it will be my daughter's first visit), I will be making time to see a few new things, so my 3 favorite things about Paris may very well change!
So let's hear about it, MI's?
Would you consider starting another post to do this real justice?
It is a great idea. It would just be a lot easier to respond to and would be most interesting.
Do you remember "The Ipcress File"? That was another great movie involving Berlin and the Cold War. That Michael Caine, Like Sean Connery, is such a wonderful actor!
John LeCarre always encapsulates the mundane but dangerous world of espionage. As he did in the 1974 book, and recent movie. What I like is his clear view of the bureaucracy that undermines and overlays the intelligence world. He knows that Smiley is an older man (middle aged) and has had run-ins with the establishment before.
He's not selling shoes (sorry Shoeman couldn't resist), but getting people to sell secrets, secrets that can get them killed or at the least in the slammer for a long time. He lives in a wilderness of mirrors, a place where nothing is as it seems, and alliances are dangerous. Enemies and friends have shifting motivations and agendas, as you saw.
But back to your questions: In London I was not privileged to stay at a Marriott while on assignment since the bureaucrats wanted me in a London hotel without a US nameplate. Thus Royal Horseguards and the London Elizabeth were my hangouts. In Paris, proximity to a source dictated a stay at a boutique hotel whose name I am blocking on.
I could go on but to stave off boredom and the wrath of other posters, I will leave it to everyone's imagination, after two war stories:
1. Arriving in London I got paged at Heathrow by my agency--seems that a third party had exposed the mssion that I was on, and I was to make the turnaround and head back to DC. Another chum, who met me there, convinced me to go with him to Buckinghamshire allegedly to tour the world famous Pinewood Studios where a friend had worked on some of the Bond flicks. Using that cover and with no calls back to DC, we extended my return for a week and I actually stumbled on a Bloc person with real impact. Getting home I used the old adage that when you make a mistake blame someone else, which I did.
2. After retirement I met a former adversary, a retired KGB general, en route to becoming a US citizen. We were hired as instructors by the agency to work with new recruits. As I shook Oleg's hand for the first time, he said, "Roger, nice to see you again!" Of course we had never met before so it was a Russian joke of sorts. No one laughed but Oleg and we have become good friends over the years. I may have mentioned that I wrote a letter to the State Department to prevent the deportation of his lovely wife, then dealing with terminal cancer, to Russia where she would be a "guest" of the prison system since in a twist of fate, Oleg was declared a traitor to mother Russia!
But Le Carre is the master of the intelligence thriller. Read the 1974 novel and see if it makes more sense. Failing that, read The Art of War by Sun Tsu for the real scoop.
More London threads
More Paris Links:
http://www.rewards-insiders.marriott.com/photoAlbums/1101 La Défense, Paris, France
SusanL (Renaissance Vendome)
Thanks & CDG to Renaissance Le Parc Trocadero (Renaissance Le Parc Trocadero)
Paris! "Never better!" (Arc d'Triomphe trip report)
Surprise (discussion on Paris sights & hotels)
Hotel and Metro in Paris (hotel airport transporation options)