RJ100 From Switzerland, joined Nov 2000, 4112 posts, RR: 31 Posted (7 years 1 month 4 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 8539 times:
Again a trip report from me
I have spent a few very nice days in Istanbul, Turkey, last year and when I saw that easyJet is going to launch flights between Basel and Istanbul, I decided to go there again with a friend! Interesting is that easyJet flies to the new and much smaller airport of Sabiha Gökcen on the Asian part of Istanbul. So one could say easyJet flies intercontinental from Basel!
Our trip started on Sunday evening since the flights to SAW are operated during the night. Was meeting up with my friend in Basel where we took the bus to the airport. Check in was very fast as usual and we received our boarding passes:
Good old HB-JZJ. Just flew on that aircraft from Basel to Hamburg 9 days earlier!
Boarding began on time and the easyJet staff was welcoming everyone aboard. As usual the crew was friendly. The captain announced a flight time of 2 hours and 35 minutes as soon as we were pushed back. Most of the passengers seemed to be Turkish people who live in the Basel region or who have relatives/friends there. A lot of families with kids too! Take-off on runway 16 after several aircraft landed. After take-off the flight attendands started selling drinks and snacks. Both of us had a mozzarella-tomato sandwich and a mineral water for the amount of 20 Swiss Francs. Honestly I think the prices are ok. At Basel airport sandwiches and drinks cost even more and since I am flying low cost a lot I don't mind if the airline makes some extra revenue with me. The more they earn the more routes they start for me .
During our dinner we all of a sudden came into severe turbulences- and I mean really severe turbulences. In my nearly 140 flights so far I have never experienced such a thing. Soon after the turbulences started the aircraft was banking to the right side very hard and for a second I thought we would be out of control. The flight attendands were "kissing" the floor and things were flying around in the cabin. The flight attendands looked quite scared too- it seems such a thing did not happen to them before. After 13 minutes the captain talked to us and told us that there was a 747 flying in front of us and that this aircraft caused the turbulences. My version though is that there was a TCAS alert in the cockpit that caused the abrupt change of direction. But of course I cannot say for sure. The rest of the flight was uneventful and very nice. Routing was Basel-Austria-Zagreb-Belgrade-Sofia-Istanbul. Approach into Istanbul was amazing, unfortunately I do not have pictures of it. But a city with around 20 million inhabitants by night is just awesome! Landing was smooth. As soon as we slowed down a passenger stood up and wanted to open the overhead bin- we haven't even left the runway completely- but got sent back by the attendands. What a fool!
We left the the plane, went through immigration and then looked for the bus to the city. There are buses awaiting all night flights and they bring you into Istanbul city centre in approx. 35 minutes.
So we were in Istanbul in the very early hours of the day! And of course I have some pics of Istanbul for you:
Istanbul in the early morning hours...you can see Galata tower in the pic too:
The Blue Mosque:
I'm on the right :
The Grand Bazar:
View from Galata tower :
After an exciting day it was time to go back to the airport. Our bus left at one o'clock in the morning, we were at the airport at 1:30 and checked-in for the flight back home. There was already a huge queue at check-in and most people had a huge amount of luggage as well. We therefore only recieved boarding group D but I did not mind at all. Went through security which was a mess. Took us nearly an hour and the security agents were ridiculously slow! Boarding already started when we finished security and we took a seat in the back of the airplane. I must say SAW is an interesting airport. They have a lot of flights during the night and at the same time of our flight there are 4 Germanwings aircraft in SAW, all arriving from Germany.
Tuesday, 17th of October
EZS1144 easyJet Switzerland
Istanbul (Sabiha Gökcen)- Basel/Mulhouse (EuroAirport)
departure time: 3:30
arrival time: 5:30
load factor: 100%
Good old HB-JZL. Flew on that aircraft 9 days earlier from Hamburg to Basel!
Take-off on time and soon in the clouds. I bought a coffee during the flight and somehow I managed not to sleep while the most of the passengers were taking a nap. This time a very calm flight, no turbulences at all. So there is not much to tell about this flight. But I loved the approach into Basel I must say. There was thick fog that early in the morning! All I saw was fog, fog, fog and a few landing lights 1 or 2 seconds before touch down! Really great although most of the passengers were a bit scared when we touched down. They probably believed we would be much higher!
Well, that's the end of a bit a crazy trip to a great location. 43 hours without sleep but it was worth it!
Hope you enjoyed this trip report and thanks for reading!
Myt332 From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2003, 9112 posts, RR: 73 Reply 3, posted (7 years 1 month 4 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 8484 times:
Thomas, nice work! I've never been to Istanbul, only flown over it on a clear night and I agree, it looked amazing even from 37,000ft! I'll have to go there one day as well as HAM.
Tell me though, did you really write this trip report the same day you got home as in, today? The boarding pass says 17th October, that's today's date! I mean that is just pure dedication there for you, nice one!
Infodesk From Switzerland, joined May 2006, 1368 posts, RR: 35 Reply 5, posted (7 years 1 month 4 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 8230 times:
Thanks again for an interesting read. It's great that easyJet have expanded so much from Basel. Didn't like the sound of the turbulence though, the fact it was dark must have made it seem all the more scary!
"Do nothing in haste, look well to each step and from the beginning think what may be the end" - Edward Whymper
RJ100 From Switzerland, joined Nov 2000, 4112 posts, RR: 31 Reply 9, posted (7 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 7947 times:
Thanks so far for the replies!
@Markus: I see you made a nice trip today! Will you present a trip report?
@Alex: Thanks . I had the choice of reading a book for my studies or write a trip report after my return and a few hours of sleep. So I opted for the second
@TriStar500: Sorry, I did not explain it well. We paid 20 CHF for two sandwiches and two mineral waters (Sandwich CHF7, water CHF3). That's quite ok considering that you pay more than 7CHF for a bottle of coke at BSL airport . A coffee costs CHF4 at easyJet, that's less than in most cafés in Basel (and easyJet's attendands are much friendlier than the waiters in the Basel cafés ) .
We paid approx. 170 CHF each for the return flights, all taxes included. It is one of the cheapest fares available on this route, booked 3-4 months in advance. A "normal" price on this route is approx. 300-500 CHF return. During peak time (vacation, bank holidays etc.) oneway fares climb up to almost 500 CHF sometimes which makes 1000 return and in no way cheaper than TK or Onur who also fly BSL-IST. But I heard that the route performs very good, obviously people don't care too much about the unusual timing of the flight!
TK787 From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 4268 posts, RR: 13 Reply 10, posted (7 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 7936 times:
Quoting RJ100 (Thread starter): But a city with around 20 million inhabitants by night is just awesome!
Now just that number alone should scare anyone in the EU. In reality the number is a lot less than that.
Thanks for the report. I was curious about the loads on those flights. Great first photo with the morning light.
RJ100 From Switzerland, joined Nov 2000, 4112 posts, RR: 31 Reply 12, posted (7 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 7921 times:
My travel guide says they don't know the exact number of inhabitants of IST, they speak of 12-20 million people. But I guess the 20 million include the whole area. Last year I took a boat from Istanbul to the Black Sea and the area is really crowded. But it doesn't matter anyway- the approach was simply amazing, first saw Atatürk airport and then the whole city centre!
RJ100 From Switzerland, joined Nov 2000, 4112 posts, RR: 31 Reply 13, posted (7 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 7911 times:
@9V: My experience is that food can range from excellent to bad...I'm disappointed by the Kebap's I must say. You can get better and bigger Kebap's everywhere in Basel (made by Turkish people). Never tried the wine...Turkish coffee was our drink to stay awake
The same goes for the people...most people are very friendly and their hospitality is great. For instance the owner of a bar realized that we needed to wait a long time for our bus in the evening and offered us to stay in his bar and even gave us tea for free! The annoying thing is just with the people who cannot accept that you don't want to buy hundreds pairs of faked socks or overpriced low quality purses But that happens only at the tourist places, in general I had a good time with the people over there!
TurkishWings From United States of America, joined May 2006, 1431 posts, RR: 9 Reply 14, posted (7 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days ago) and read 7814 times:
Quoting RJ100 (Reply 13): @9V: My experience is that food can range from excellent to bad...I'm disappointed by the Kebap's I must say. You can get better and bigger Kebap's everywhere in Basel (made by Turkish people). Never tried the wine...Turkish coffee was our drink to stay awake Big grin
Well you probably didn't know where to eat You should have called me before you came You could have even crashed over at mine for a few hours... I live about 5 minutes away from the Galata Tower (by cab).
I lived in CH for 3 years and kebap there is seriously no better than we have over here. For example: We do not use any sauces on the kebap and they do in CH. Which makes it juicier and easier to eat.. Maybe even tastier. But it is by no means real kebap
Quoting RJ100 (Reply 12): My travel guide says they don't know the exact number of inhabitants of IST, they speak of 12-20 million people.
RJ100 From Switzerland, joined Nov 2000, 4112 posts, RR: 31 Reply 15, posted (7 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 7796 times:
Hi TurkishWings! Thanks for your comment.
Like I said, I really like Turkey, that's why I came back already for the third time!
Last year when I was there I liked the food very much. We ate in restaurants very often and it was great. This time we had less time and therefore opted for the fast food version. Maybe I just had bad luck with the Kebap...
One thing I must say is that I really love the sweets in Turkey. Cakes, chocolates and things like that...just awesome! I fell like in heaven there!
I'll let you know the next time I will be there and you show me a good location to eat Kebap
TK787 From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 4268 posts, RR: 13 Reply 18, posted (3 years 4 months 2 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 5421 times:
Strange to see this thread to reappear after 4 years.
Looking at the Istanbul pics, I realize that the 3rd picture from the last you see two ships docked on the right side of the picture. I think the smaller one is the "Marmara" which made the headlines during the "Gaza Flotilla" days.