Monday, June 02, 2008

Off to Turkey - 24 May 2008

The Blue Mosque from Aya Sofya
Today was a day of firsts. First flight with BA, first departure from the new Terminal Five at Heathrow, the first time we were to be met at an airport by a driver with our name held up on a card and the first time a driver did not meet us with a raised card as agreed. And, it was our first trip to Turkey and first visit to Istanbul.

Fairy Chimneys; note the door and stepsIt seemed that half the passengers on our flight into Istanbul were being met by drivers holding cards with names on and although we slowly walked up the line and back down again, our name was not to be seen. After waiting a polite amount of time we rang the local travel agent – oh, the convenience of cell phones - only to be told that the driver was at the airport. The agent called him and found that he had left already. Eventually he returned, found us, and whisked us into Istanbul at break-neck speed.

View from the top of Rose ValleyThe agent had arranged transport on an over-subscribed shuttle bus, which took us to the main bus station where we boarded an overnight bus that was scheduled to deliver us to a destination in Capadoccia 12 hours later. The bus had an attendant as well as the driver and we were served tea and cake before settling down for the night and coffee in the morning, along with frequent cups of water.

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