RJ100 From Switzerland, joined Nov 2000, 4112 posts, RR: 31 Posted (8 years 2 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 7170 times:
A few weeks ago me and a very close friend of mine decided to make a trip somewhere. We ended up booking a trip to Istanbul, Turkey where we would stay for five days. November is not a very good month to travel to Turkey in terms of sunshine but the positive thing is that places are less crowded at this time of year.
Our trip started on Thursday morning, the 17th of November. Just a few hours earlier, the Swiss football team qualified for the next world championship. Before, during and after the crucial game against Turkey in Istanbul, a few unfair things happened and honestly we feared to be treated pretty bad. Anyway, we decided to to this trip since we were looking forward to it.
Since both of us live in suburbs of Basle, we decided to take the SBB regional train connecting our suburbs with Basle's main station where we would get a connecting bus to Basle's airport. Unfortunately, the train was late and we missed our bus connection in Basle, therefore we needed to take a taxi out to the airport.
LH3821 operated by Augsburg Airways
Unfortunately Andrea, my friend, broke his foot just two days before our trip and so she needed to walk with sprags. So checurity checks were a pain because the staff was not helpful at all. We then proceeded to our gate and ordered two mineral waters at the bar. 10.50 CHF for twi waters is a rip off and I will refuse to buy there again until the new shops and more competition arrive at the airport.
Our flight was the second to Munich this day and boarding began soon. The flight had approximately a 75% load factor. Apart from us, almost everyone were business travellers in suits. This is the result of Lufthansa's monopoly prices they charge out of BSL and due to some good contracts with the local multinational companies. But at least they make money on that route.
Taxied out to runway 26, the short runway in BSL, and took off immediately. The weather was not good at all so there was nothing to see at all. The crew was very friendly and also very helpful. On the short flight they offered a snack which consisted out of Milka chocolate bars and drinks. Landing was very smooth and Andrea commented the landing as followed: "The pilot definitely did not fly for the first time" . Said goodbye to the nice crew and went into the terminal. Due to Andrea's injury, we got asked several times if we need something (i.e. a shuttle) but it was ok. I found that very nice from Lufthansa. After a short coffee break boarding began for our Istanbul flight.
Munich-Istanbul Yesilköy Atatürk
Again, very friendly staff on this flight. They were very helpful. Load factor was around 80%. Bimpy take off with a good view on Munich's new football stadium. We then had an excellent view on Lake Balaton and at the same time, meals were served. To my surprise they offered a warm meal on this flight. It was very good for airline food, mainly spicy potatoes, bread with butter and a yoghurt. Drinks were served several times. The flight itself was uneventful and I was reading the very informative Lufthansa board magazine. They had some nice articles about the Airbus A-340, the airline industry in general and about interesting things such as how tickets get produced etc. We approached over some huge Istanbul suburbs with a smooth landing.
To our surprise, immigration was without problems and we had absolutely no trouble to get into our hotel. The drive just unloaded the wrong suitcase so I ended up with a suitcase from a Norwegian person. But after a few hours my suitcase was back in the hotel and everything was ok.
We stayed in the Sultanahmet quarter of the city, near the blue mosque and close to Aya Sofya.
We began to learn that the Turkish people are great hosts and in general very friendly people. Food is excellent too. And they serve big portions.
Some city pics:
The grand bazar:
On Saturday I received an SMS from a.net user OYRJA who asked if we would be okay since there was a bombing in a Istanbul suburb with dead and injured people. Thanks for that man, it was highly appreciated.
On Sunday we decided to make a cruise on the Bosphorus (which links the Marmara sea with the Black sea) despite the bad weather.
One of the Bosphorus bridges:
View towards the Black sea:
Yesterday, on Monday, we went to the Bazar again and bought lots of stuff! It's a lot of fun to bargain with the locals. After bargaining you get the feeling to have done a really good deal despite it's still a rip off. I ended up buying a box of Turkish coffee for 15YTL (bargained it down from over 20) just to realise later that you can get the same thing at the airport for 5YTL
We then had lunch and dessert and headed for the airport after that. The taxi driver was an insane driver! For a moment I thought I would be in Monaco
Istanbul Yesilköy Atatürk- Frankfurt Rhein/Main
After a rather unfriendly security check at Atatürk (everyone needs to go through security when entering the airport) we checked in and got treated very friendly by Lufthansa. When they saw us we did not have to wait in line for the second security check at the gate and then even got priotity boarding.
It was already dark and we took off with about a 90% load. Routing was Istanbul-Lake Balaton-Vienna-Linz-Regensburg-Nürnberg-Frankfurt with an ontime arrival. Again, a warm meal was served. Bread with butter, pasta with tomato sauce and a muffin plus several drinks.
After another security check at Frankfurt we proceeded to our gate to Basle where boarding has already started.
The flight had approximately an 80% load. Many Asiatic people and a full business class (36 pax). Taxied to runway 18 where the captain announced an expected takeoff clearance in 40 minutes. After a few seconds he talked again to correct himself: " I mean 40 seconds of course, oh that's now" and off we were!
Landing into Basle was spectacular since there was thick fog. I saw a lot of vortex and all of a sudden we came out of the fog. We were damn low and approx. five seconds later we touched down.
FLIEGER67 From Ethiopia, joined Sep 2003, 4758 posts, RR: 56 Reply 1, posted (8 years 2 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 6948 times:
interesting report and especially your pics, I like it. A good impression what to
expect around Istanbul, a high target on my to do list.
What about your hotel, where you stay there, was it recommendable?
And about the LH flights, I´am a frequent traveller on LH and its always nice to share the same planes, please write down the regs for your future reports.
TS-IOR From Tunisia, joined Oct 2001, 3311 posts, RR: 6 Reply 3, posted (8 years 2 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 6759 times:
I went to IST in August and i also posted a trip report,but it lacked photos. What is amazing is that the photos of Blue Mosque,the Bosphorus and the SultanAhmet quarter are quiet the same i have taken
I stayed in Aksaray quarter-last station of the airport metro-and you ? I also took a coach for a 10hrs trip to Izmir and back. It was emotional
RJ100 From Switzerland, joined Nov 2000, 4112 posts, RR: 31 Reply 6, posted (8 years 2 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 6584 times:
Thanks for the answers so far. I am glad that you like my trip report.
@Markus: We stayed in the Sultanahmet quarter of the city. The hotel name was Aya Sofya Hotel, a very nice hotel, Aya Sofya, the Topkapi Palace and the Blue Mosque are just across the street! If you go to Istanbul I would consider this hotel, price is 80 Euros per room and night (breakfast buffet included). Let me know if you need more information on Istanbul, I will gladly help you.
I will in the future write down the registrations, I completely forgot about that! I can only remember that the 737-500 was the "City of Amsel" (if I remember correctly).
@Aviationmaster: Yes, they have an LX codeshare on Lufthansa's flights from BSL to FRA, MUC and DUS.
@TS-IOR: Let's see, Aksaray isn't that far from where we stayed. I believe this is on the same tram line (Eminönü-Aksaray right?). We stayed in the middle of Sultanahmet (tram stops are Sultanahmet and Cemberlitas).
@OYRJA: Thanks man! Postcard is on the way!
@Mark: Thank you. My next trip will be on the 17th of December, flying easyJet A-319 BSL-SXF-BSL.
TriStar500 From Germany, joined Nov 1999, 4690 posts, RR: 45 Reply 7, posted (8 years 1 week 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 6481 times:
Very nice trip report, Thomas! Many Turks really seem to suffer from some kind of "Jekyll and Hide"-personality: on the one hand, they can be the greatest, most friendly hosts in the world, on the other hand, if they perceive their "honor" as being hurt, they get totally infuriated and aggressive.
But how boring would it be, if all cultures would be the same?
Homer: Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!
B707Stu From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 918 posts, RR: 4 Reply 10, posted (8 years 1 week 21 hours ago) and read 6078 times:
Great trip report. I stayed at the SIDE pension in the same area as you were in. I did the same ferry and have pictures of the same views and even the same restaurant with the ladies kneading the bread. Brought back great memories for me. Thx for a lovely trip report.
ThereAndBack From Turkey, joined Aug 2005, 699 posts, RR: 4 Reply 12, posted (8 years 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 5835 times:
This brings back memories for me too. I took a picture like in the same spot as you did :
I posted alot of trip reports I flew on TK from PBI to IST and then to BJV.
I got a few crazy cab drivers too we went out of a high way exit going in the wrong direction it was very scary...he almost hit some pedestrians. You're lucky you went to Istanbul during such great weather cloudy is my favorite.