Our departure from Istanbul gave us from great sunset views of the city below and the Bosphorus.
We travelled back from the UK via Istanbul in Turkey. We flew using Turkish Air with a 15 hour delay between flights. We wanted to take the opportunity to visit the city, though this was planned long before recent events, we felt reassured it was going to be safe to visit.
What we didn’t realise was that as part of the flight we had the option of a free walking tour of Istanbul with breakfast and lunch. This took in two of the most famous sites in Istanbul, the Blue Mosque and the Hagia Sophia, a former church turned mosque, turned museum.
I sit here in the lounge of my parents-in law watching Wimbledon – the Ladies Semi-Finals (Kerber vs Williams). It’s almost like we’ve never been away.
It’s our first day back in England (Blighty is an old-fashioned term for Britain / England). It was a long and somewhat stressful trip back with Turkish Air / Fast Jet.
It all started back in Mwanza with a lengthy conversation with a ‘jobsworth’ Fast Jet official who insisted that although on weight – we were only allowed one bag each on the plane – this was neither on the ticket or clearly described in the small print – we almost missed our flight!
In Dar Es Salaam – we discovered our 3 am flight was delayed by six hours – resulting in a sleepless night in the Airport. The reason for the delay was never fully explained though attributed to technical difficulties. The result of all this delay was that we would miss our connecting flight from Istanbul to London. Thankfully but after a hour long, 1 – 2am wait in the airport we were re-scheduled for a later flight.
The delay was almost 7 hours in the end and got us into Istanbul with a little over an hour to spare before check-in. So a quick taste of European culture (Café Nero) before boarding our Heathrow flight. Arriving back in the UK about 9pm we realised that of our 7 bags, 3 were still in Istanbul. One of the three belonged to Anita who had no clothes, one to me who had no other shoes but sandals, the other to my daughter.
These were subsequently put on another flight – but one bag only has arrived thus far – the others having taken an even later flight back and expected late this evening. Although all these will be couriered across – things are still very frustrating.
I’m told this is the perils of long-haul travel – just hoping our journey back to Mwanza will be less of an ordeal.