On the last day we had a couple of hours to spent before we had to head for the airport. The hotel arranged a airport shuttle, and said it took only half an hour. And that was okay for us.
We walked to the Grand Bazaar just to look and spend some time.
We didn’t buy anything, but it was an experience to be there, to see it, to smell it.
Did you know?
The Grand Bazaar is the largest and the oldest covered bazaar in the world with over 3,000 stores.
After a couple of hours we took a taxi back to the hotel, but the taxi driver did not bother to drive us all the way, so we had to run to catch the shuttle bus. We got in time, but the bus had lots of stops to do before heading to the airport. We got stressed and a bit worried that we might not reach the flight (we always like to be on the airport in good time before departure). An hour later we were at the airport, a packed airport! We had to stand in line to the security control first, then to check in. And both of these took forever! When we finally got to the counter they could tell us that the flight was overbooked and that only one uf us got a seat. Jon-Fredrik was sat in Standby. But we had to reach the plane and hope both of us got on. But hey, it was at least an hour to get through the passport controll. Finally through the control and another security check we had to run to our gate. I had no belt on (had to take it off), and my button fell off the day before, so I had a backpack on my back, a plastic bag in my hand, and with the other hand I had to hold my pants up. What a sight it must have been!
5 minutes to late, the plane had already left. F*ck!
Then the fun began…
At first we were sent to Turkish Airlines info desk before we were sent to another desk. There we met a couple from Norway who also had missed the plane, even they got 4 hours before departure.
We then had to wait for our passport being stamped so we could be let back in the country. Then all the way out, up and to the Ticket desk. And at last to denial desk. They gave us new tickets for a flight the next day. But didn’t bother to do more for us. Everything was our fault… Then maybe you (Turkish Airlines) should change the recommendation to be at the airport two hours before departure, or have more people working because of the Easter holidays? There were so many people who missed their planes that day and it was total chaos.
But we got our tickets.
Then we had to find a hotel nearby… We went outside and got a taxidriver. He said he knew a hotel 5 minutes from the airport, and we said GO!
He drove and drove, and drove… And we had to ask and tell him that we needed to be close to the airport. “Relax Relax, 5 minutes”, he said. After some more driving we got a bit angry and he came with the same phrase again, “Relax relax, 5 minutes”. 15-20minutes from the airport he found us a hotel: Ramada Hotel.
Our baggage was left on the airport, so we went out to get some t-shirts and deo. Then we got a nice dinner before we went up to our hotel room to relax rest of the evening.
We wouldn’t take any chances and wanted to be early at the airport the next day, that meant we had to get up 3:30 a.m.
The hotel arranged a breakfast for us to 3:45a.m, so nice of them! Then we got picked up by the taxi and got straight to the airport.
There was still some queue, but luckily we didn’t have to check-in.
We met the other Norwegian couple, and it had not been as easy for them. And they had ended up buying new tickets for 11.000NOK (=1830USD).
Finally, we sat on the plane, ready to get home! But, oh no, more should happen.
A man on the plane suddenly refused to fly and took his hand luggage and walked off the plane. And it led to full check of luggage in the cabin. Everyone had to take their baggage, so they could see if there was something left that shouldn’t be on the plane.
Everything was OK, and 20 minutes later than scheduled we were on our way home to Norway.
And fortunately our luggage was on the same plane (well, we had our doubts after all that had happened).
Travel isn’t just luxury and easy going. But it’s worth it in the end!
Read about our previous post from this adventure:
– Aqaba, Jordan (The start of the journey)
– The Magic of Wadi Rum
– Petra, one of the new seven wonders of the world
– Jerash, A Rome away from Rome
– Border crossing, Israel and Palestine
– To Istanbul, Turkey