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Thread: Adventures in Turkey

  1. #1
    bbangel's Avatar
    bbangel is offline Those of us on the fun coast can party some more!

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    Default Adventures in Turkey

    Hi all, I'm finally back home after two weeks in Turkey. I have a few adventures to relate once I've finished unpacking and doing laundry (and catching up with what has been going on around here!)
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  2. #2
    m 'n c's Avatar
    m 'n c is offline Is there a tequilla club I could join?? I'd settle for rum though.
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    Welcome back! I want to hear all about your trip and see photos.
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  3. #3
    askomsky's Avatar
    askomsky is offline DUH!!!!! Smack myself upside the head

    Careful or I'm going to beat your booty with a wet noodle until I drive you insane!
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    Am I missing a TR on this somewhere???????????????
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  4. #4
    bbangel's Avatar
    bbangel is offline Those of us on the fun coast can party some more!

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    LOL, no... I just haven't gotten to my pictures yet. Mental note to get this started soon!
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    Still waiting for you to take us around the world.
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  6. #6
    bbangel's Avatar
    bbangel is offline Those of us on the fun coast can party some more!

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    Default We're Off!

    Or at least we thought we were....

    Day 1

    The plan - Fly from Vancouver to Seattle, catch our plane to Amsterdam and connect to Istanbul. Leave Vancouver on Wednesday morning and arrive in Istanbul on Thursday early afternoon.

    What actually happened? We met at the aiport as planned. My stepmother had come to Vancouver the day before and spent the night with her son. No problems at the airport until we went through US Customs. I got flagged for "extra scrutiny" and had to wait what seemed like eons for them to find my bag (not a good sign when they came and asked me again if I was sure I had checked a bag!). They wouldn't even let me step out of the "secure area" to let my step mom know they had nabbed me. Anyway it all worked out although having to answer how many flights I had taken to the States in the last 12 months is still one I'm not sure I know the answer to.

    So after all that, we made our way to the gate. Everything still running on time. The plane we were to get on came and in and off loaded. We did start boarding about 20 minutes late but everything still seemed fine. About 3/4 of the way through boarding it seemed to just stop. No more people getting on but nothing else happening either. Finally about 40 minutes later they annouce that there is some kind of problem with the computers in the terminal and verifying people's passports. We know this is a big fat lie as all screening of that kind had to happen when going through customs. About 20 minutes after that people once again start to board. We realize that all the new people boarding (about 20 of them) all speak Spanish and appear to be one large group. Several of them have instruments (like guitars!) they are now trying to jam into carry on space (and this is a Dash 8 so the space is fairly tiny!). Everyone finally boards and we think we may leave in time to still make our connection. But no! There is a problem now because their luggage is too much to fit in the luggage compartment. The pilot actually got out of his seat and grabbed his bag and stowed it in a closet so that we could finally leave. So long story long...we left over 2 hours late from Vancouver, didn't arrive in Seattle until 10 minutes after the only plane to Amsterdam that day had already left.

    As the flight landed they gave instructions that the people connecting to Miami needed to go first and gave clear directions for how they needed to get to their gate. No one else got that courtesy. Who were the people connecting to Miami? You guessed it - the Spanich band! I seriously want to know who these people were that they held up a plane for them. The other 80 or so people on board joined us in a line to figure out how we were going to get where we were going. As we are waiting in the line I realize that if we had driven we would have made it to Seattle with 2 hours to spare. Sigh.

    When we get to the front of the line, the rep reassures us that we are booked with Delta the next morning through New York. She directs us how to get our baggage if we want it and gives us vouchers for a hotel for the night. No food. Which sucks, cause we are now starving and should have been being served lunch on the flight we missed. Anyway we claim our luggage after the nice women in the baggage claim climbs through a warehouse to find it. We get on the shuttle for the hotel and find that although old and tiny the beds are comfy. And the hotel will shuttle you to a list of restaurants so we headed to Denny's and felt a little better after we ate.

    We figured our adventures of the first day meant that it would be smooth sailing from there. Boy were we wrong.
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  7. #7
    bbangel's Avatar
    bbangel is offline Those of us on the fun coast can party some more!

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    Default Maybe this time?

    Day 2

    The Plan - Getting to the aiport for a 6:30 am flight to New York and connecting to Istanbul. Leaving Thursday early morning and arriving in Istanbul Friday late morning. No need to rush as it is a domestic flight right?

    What really happened? Okay, so not as bad as the first day but still frustration with airlines! We had booked the disasterous flight from Vancouver to Seattle (on Horizon) and our missed connections through NorthWest Airlines (although we would have been on KLM planes - confused yet?). Anyway Northwest no longer exists as it merged with Delta. This became important later.

    We got to the airport at about 5:15 am, which we thought was plenty of time to check in and get to the gate. It isn't a busy time for security so we thought we would be fine. So we go to check in for the flight on Delta using the stupid kiosk terminals. It won't let me and I have the first incling of a problem. We go to the desk and the women is unable to find our reservation - only our missed connections from the day before. She decides that this is because a ticket was not issued. She can't issue a ticket for some reason involving our original tickets being on Northwest ticket stock and the numbers not correlating with Delta. She sent us running over to the Alaska ticket people to get tickets issued since they were the ones who had scheduled the flight after our missed connections. The people at the Alaska desk were completely confused as to why Delta didn't just figure it out. It did take them awhile and they had to disappear somewhere with out passports but it did eventually all get sorted out. So now we had been "ticketed" so we had to run back down the airport to the Delta counter to check in. We managed that with 32 minutes until our flight was to leave. Then we headed to the security line where apparently every person in front of us had missed the memo on not carrying liquids! We finally made it through security and then had to get on the little train to the terminal outpost. We then had to run up the stairs and through the terminal. We made it to the gate 10 minutes before the plane is supposed to leave and were the last people to board. We did just avoid having our names called over the intercom. The thing that annoyed me is that the girl who had checked us in was at the gate (i.e. there is obviously a way she could have got us through security faster with her so we wouldn't have had to stress so much).

    After all that excitement I was happy to settle in for the flight and kick but doing the trivia game with the rest of the plane. Whoever was in 22F gave me a good run for my money but I emerged victorious.

    We had two hours in New York to wait for our connection to Istanbul. We weren't sitting in the same section of the plane for this 10 hour flight. My stepmom was just before the middle washrooms and I was closer to the back. I didn't mind too much (I had an empty seat next to me which is definately nice on the longer flights - stepmom didn't want it because she wanted a window.)

    We arrived on time in Istanbul, although seriously tired after two days of travelling. We passed through their passport control like it wasn't even there (they literally said nothing to me!) and headed to pick up our bags. My bag came out. We kept waiting and new bags stopped coming. We approach an official looking woman who looks at her clip board and says are you Ms. Stepmom? Yup, her bag had never left New York. How my bag made it and hers did not I don't understand. So we spent 30 minutes filling out forms and trying to figure out where we would be so that her bag would catch up with her. We finally figured out it would be 4 days later when we were in Kusadasi. She did not have a change of clothes in her carry on. Always take a change of clothes on the plane with you!

    Anyway after that we left the baggage area and thankfully we were met by the tour company rep (we had let them know about the change in arrival). He assumed we would want to go to the hotel to rest but we wanted to join the city tour already in progress. We didn't want to miss any more than we already had!
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  8. #8
    spring's Avatar
    spring is offline Hey, there is no traffic better than all of us! They need to get a grip!
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    Wow, you sure did start the trip out on the wrong foot, Megan. Looking forward to reading more (not to mention seeing pics.)
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  9. #9
    bbangel's Avatar
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    Default It's beautiful...but where's my bed?

    Day 3

    After all our travelling disasters we were finally back on track. We were driven from the airport to the Sultanahmet, the old city area, where we met up with our tour group at the Hagia Sophia. Since I can't sleep on planes I had been up for almost 2 whole days. I was determined to see what I could of Istanbul though. We had already missed the Blue Mosque and I didn't want to miss anything else. The Hagia Sophia is amazing. It has been a church and a mosque and is now a museum. The inside is beautiful and they are still restoring all the mosaics.







    After spending an hour touring the inside we were given free time to grab some lunch. Thank goodness because we were starving. We found a little hole in the wall place that served the Turkish version of a gyro. As we walked in the square munching away we were stopped by two backpackers who asked us directions. This made us laugh so hard since we had been in the city only about 2 hours at that point. I'm sure they eventually found someone to help them.

    After lunch we met up with the group again and walked to the Topkopi Palace, which was the home of such sultans as Selim the Sot and Ibrahim the Mad. Colourful history abounds, but the architecture is pretty boring. There are rooms full of Byzantine clothing, jewelery and art as well as a museum of Islamic relics. We were too tired to appreciate it as it deserved but the view of the Bosphorus from here was amazing.







    We left the Palace and headed for the Great Bazaar. My stepmom had a mission to find some clothes to hold her for the four days until her luggage arrived. We managed to find her some basics for pretty cheap. The amount of fakes in this place matched what we saw in China. There are tons of neat little shops in here, selling gold and other finery as well as tourist schlock. After shopping we were finally taken to our hotel where we just wanted to fall into bed and not wake up for a week.
    Last edited by bbangel; 04-10-2010 at 05:45 PM.
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  10. #10
    spring's Avatar
    spring is offline Hey, there is no traffic better than all of us! They need to get a grip!
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    Love the pics! The water is so blue!
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