I decided, it would be time to fly again. Part of my family lives in Antalya/turkey- so when I heard of a special Thomas Cook powered by Condor promotion for 114â‚¬ return- I immediately took the chance.
Photo © Jan Szidat
On arrival at Hamburg Airport, my first way was straight to check in and to the gates. My flight was with Condor, but -clever as I am- I went to the next Lufthansa flight lounge in Hamburg. There you will get free newspapers and coffee/tea with a superb view on the apron. But HAM is not very interesting at all. On the apron, you could find GEXX F100, TURKISH A310, Hamburg International B737-700, lots of Lufthansa- and a nice view on to the Lufthansa Maintenance Bay; lots of stored A310.
Flight arrived on time, but boarding started late, so no on-time departure. His was actually my first flight on Condor's B757-300 a/c. Boarding is bit complicated. First rows 10-1, after that, rows from 40 to the end, after that, rows 39-30(?)... Boarding was quite chaotic- one problem: all the selections of newspapers and magazines were still in the overhead-bins. So everyone stopped to get the best deal... Late departure, in my opinion a great take off performance, but (my seat was at the rear) strange noises and lot of shaking... You could feel the long body! The route, on to eastern, Berlin, than Balkan republics, down to Istanbul, direct from the north (over the mountains) into Antalya airport.
The flight, in my opinion, nothing really special- but also nothing to complain about it. Prior to take of, safety video in German with English subtitles; followed by Turkish safety instructions on tape. After take off, distribution of pillows and blankets. Start of the video-magazine, luckily without Mr. Beans and without candid camera... Later one of the best movies ever (my opinion) "Saving Graces" was showed, and some comic. One Hot-Meal service- no choice (pasta), 2times beverages. The meal was average, but filling. After that Duty Free (still on routes without Europe), perfect landing in Antalya, nearly on time.
Photo © John Miller
In Antalya, a spotter paradise. But it is nearly impossible to get got shots. On arrival, one lost French STAR A320, some Germans incl. Condor, Hapag Lloyd, few Turkish (freebird?), and MANY Russian never seen and heard before airliners (YAK42, TU154, IL86).
BTW. One great place to spot aircrafts, is the DÃœDEN waterfalls. It is impossible (to the sun) to get good pictures. But if you would like to know, how an IL86 sound on final take off/landing, there is no better place...
Photo © Patrick Lutz
I returned on Saturday morning, and it was a spotter's heaven. Lots and lots of IL 86
Photo © Nikolai Ionkine
Photo © Herson Mendes
followed by many Tu154 and Yak42,but the problem is, many airlines switched to western equipment like LAT Charter A320, ESTONIAN B737, Airzena B737 (? I saw a B737 in red, could be Air Zena, but couldn't find this scheme on the database- new a/c?). Check in and passport-control is a major problem, most of the tourists were Russians, so it take quite long, to get through the check-point. The departure terminal is boring, no views on apron, and empty duty-free shops (thanks to the Russians Vodka consume). Only at the gate, you can spot some aircrafts. The Aircraft arrives on-time, on-time boarding. Strange flight. Hamburg international is a German charter airline, aboard only 1 German newspaper- but the rest was Turkish press. Safety demonstrations by the crew, all announcements were done in German/Turkish- no English at all. Headphones were offered, A/C was equipped with an audio-/video system- but it was not used and switched off. But the air-show was shown, with AIR BERLIN titles and logo... Route the same, but this time, take off over the sea, Istanbul, Bulgaria, Berlin, Hamburg. Average meal service, but the drinks took far too long- strange behavior of the crew. I was in row 14, the aft crew did still their meal service in row 20, my meal was finished. A flight attendant from the front approached row 12, asking for coffee. I asked also for coffee, because the aft crew needed quite long time. Answer: NO, you are not anymore in my section, turned around and disappeared behind the curtain. After the meal service a second bar, that's all. No compare to Condor at all!
Arrival in Hamburg, with some special guests: Air Greenland B757 and some B777(?) visitors at the Lufthansa Maintenace bay.
So, I hope you liked it, as much as i did my vacations