Itinerary 1. 07 August 2013 - BUD-IST Y 2. 08 August 2013 - IST-HKG W 3. 10 August 2013 - HKG-??? ? 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.
« Will you marry me ? »
No, I’m not asking you, dear reader ;) but I did ask one very special woman nearly 10 months ago, and last August, we tied the knot in Bratislava. Here’s one token commemorating this special day for us.
The following series of trip reports is a result of this celebration as we embark on a honeymoon to a continent and countries we have never seen before.
It was back in January that I started thinking about where to go, I knew I wanted to go far and I kind of knew which direction I wanted to take. Keep in mind I am not really a frequent flyer so I can’t use miles. Nonetheless I wanted to make this trip memorable somehow.
Back then I did not know about our beloved Flight Report website and so I asked around on airliners and flyer talk about options, someone mentioned to checkout holiday pirates and low and behold ; a few days later I heard about the TK error fare between WAW and KUL for 620 Euros return. Sadly at the time I was still deciding on where to go and I missed out on this super amazing deal. After all I needed to decide on where to go first. A lot of folks mentioned Thailand; Vietnam, Cambodia, even Malaysia, places I could only dream of visiting/ My criteria were that I wanted powdery white sandy beaches and crystal clear waters as this is what I knew my wife wanted.
At the same time I wanted to go somewhere so remote; that I would literally feel off the grid; that no one from work could get ahold of me even if they tried :) That’s not the easiest thing to do and definitely not the most convenient; but you’ll have to read on to find out where we end up.
In March I stumbled across this website by googling some keywords and after several turns, U turns and other virtual mishaps, I ended up in contact with a member of this forum better known as 007. Thanks to him and to his invaluable help; I was able to create a routing that would be exciting for me and would enable me to take my wife to places I knew she would love. Welcome to part 1 of this 10 chapter Flight Report:
As outlined in the past, I live in Bratislava, 60km from VIE and 190km from BUD. Unfortunately, VIE is an expensive airport to fly out of when you are flying a legacy carrier, which is not the case of BUD which is constantly a more attractive option. The only problem is getting to BUD from here is no easy business.
We begin our journey by taking the Intercity express (I would hardly call a 3 hour ride anything but express to travel less than 200km…), on this early day of August, the weather is extremely hot and dry with temperatures regularly exceeding 36 degrees and today was no exception.
The train was air conditioned but was off when we were on board and that made for an extremely hot and sticky ride when you are stuck in a compartment with 5 other people.
View from our compartment
Upon arrival in Budapest, we were immediately greeted by taxi drivers offering to take us to the airport for the meager price of 10,000 HUF (about 30 Euros). Of course I knew the taxis here were crooks so I just ignored them. I did offer a couple of drivers to take us for 5 or 6,000 but none accepted. I had never travelled to the airport with the public transport and I knew it was kind of complicated. But we were at the train station a good 4 hours before the flight so I decided to take the risk and try to find our way.
So it turns out you have to take 2 different metro lines and then take the 200E bus to the airport, definitely not convenient. It was interesting though as some of the metros in Budapest seem really old, even older than some of the lines in Paris.
We arrived eventually with some time to spare and we were relieved; in the end we paid 2 Euros each for the public transport and saved money!
There was a bit of a line checking in but we waited maybe 10 minutes; the agent was professional but efficient. She was a great help to secure a seat I was really coveting for the second leg which you will find out in Part 2 :)
We were leaving from Terminal B but for some reason the security checks were closes so we had to walk all the way to Terminal A to go through security and then make our way back to Terminal B. The airport isn’t very big however so it didn’t take us too long.
I like BUD; actually more than VIE if only it were closer; the free wifi works well and it’s quite spotter friendly I would say. Sadly my camera was still acting up :/
Our flight was originally supposed to be operated by an A321 but already the day before I could see from the seat map that this had been changed to a 737-800, I was actually pleased about it as I would be flying the A321 on the way back.
Our ride for this 90 minute flight
Aeroflot next to us, an Airbus A320
Not sure where this one was headed
Aeroflot ready to go back to Moscow !
Boarding commenced on time. As it is always the case when I fly, I wait until the final call is announced to board the plane as I much prefer sitting down than standing in line to get to the plane, I do my best to travel light so fighting for overhead bins is not an issue for me
Something tells me people fancy winglets here
The cabin again
The Misses, excited to be on vacation for 4 weeks !
Pitch for a 6 foot 1 hunk
Pitch for a 5 foot 7 lady
As you can see we had 3 seats to ourselves :)
After boarding we were given an Osihori and some Loukoums! Yum they were delicious!! What a nice way to start this flight!
Aer Lingus getting ready for the ride back to the land of Guinness and leprechauns
The huge terminal windows at night
We taxied for a short while an takeoff came about naturally, you can see the takeoff video at the end of this report
After takeoff the Flight Attendants quickly got up and prepared for the dinner service. No menus were distributed on this flight and as far as I know; everyone was offered the same meal as we did not receive any choices.
This is what we call Fasulia, my family makes this a lot during our family reunions; I’m not a huge fan but I ate, I often eat things in the air that I wouldn’t on the ground, don’t ask me why ^^
This was some kind of lamb dish with eggplant, tomato, zucchini and rice, it was quite good!
Oven fresh bread selection, it’s obviously not super quality bread but it was warm and it was fresh
Not being a wine connoisseur, I downed two of these in no time ^^
I’m not exactly sure what this was but I know I enjoyed it, it kind of tasted like what we call in French “Quatre Quart”, I enjoyed it.
Not long after dinner had finished we were offered another loukoum which I gladly accepted and the decent started shortly after.
View of Istanbul on approach
Touchdown was smooth and we ended up taxiing to a remote stand for disembarkation via the infamous Cobus 3000
Our 737-800 upon disembarkation, unfortunately I didn't catch the reg :/
Her's a video of the takeoff from BUD and landing in IST
We ended up in the main terminal and on we went to clear security again and proceed to our next flight, here's a hint as to what we flew next
Thanks for reading!
Budapest - BUD
Istanbul - ISL
Airline rating: Overall this was a very pleasant flight; we were both impressed by the quality of service offered on such a short flight, the meal, the loukoums, the hot towel before takeoff, everything was there to make for a great start to our honeymoon! I would also like to add that their sour cherry juice is excellent! A solid 9 is awarded for this great effort on what I consider to be a short haul flight. The crew was very pleasant although they seemed slightly in a hurry which I can understand given the length of the flight, the service was basically flawless though. No geovision during the flight but alot of TK advertisements We departed on time and arrived 10 minutes early
Budapest airport: A very nice airport to wander around, everything is clearly marked, the toilets are clean, free wifi, wide windows for picture taking, high marks deserved
Istanbul airport: First thing I noticed, no free wifi; the toilets are not very clean, it's a little bit of a chaos funneling all the incoming flights through the transit section but they had officers scattered around guiding passengers so this was good.As 007 noted in his previous reports, alot of people tried to pass in front in complete innocence which was annoying, and not to sound discriminatory but it was mostly women!
A very good flight with TK, this flight was setting an excellent mood for us and we were ready to continue on our journey although it was getting late...
More to come!
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