Hello everyone, welcome to the third stage of my late 2013 eurotrip: Turkey!
Other flights on the trip BOG-FRA on LH, not covered, just like this flight which was already covered. FRA-CDG on LH CDG-ZRH on LX ZRH-IST on LX IST-ASR on TK (you're here) NAV-IST on TK IST-FRA on LH FRA-BOG on LH, not covered neither…practically identical to this FR
So here I was in Turkey! The furthest away from home I've ever been to, and so the excitement level was too damn high!
Exiting the baggage claim area meant now we had to head towards the Domestic Terminal. On maps Atatürk airport seems small and manageable, but wrong I was…it was huge! The walk between terminals seemed like forever and more after a two flight trip into IST.
Photos were not taken thoroughly as I wasn't sure if it was OK (then I discovered it was) but cope with me.
The Domestic Terminal is rather bland an there isn't much to see or do on the landside, so we ventured on to the airside. Security check was swift, cordial and tended by the hottest policewomen I've ever seen. Actually policewomen around the airport were so beautiful, we joked that one of the requirements for the job was to be good looking. We were astounded by how pretty Turkish women are.
There was a little food concourse which is on the centre of the building, and is surrounded by little convenience stores and the gates. We had our first try at Turkish food (usually airport food isn't the best) but this one was really good. I was loving Turkey.
Boarding time was near and our friend incoming from Paris hadn't shown up. We eventually went to a TK office and a very kind women took care of us and told us he was on his way, he had made it into IST and should get here in no time. I was really impressed about how nice people were.
Eventually we were called into our plane. There was an equipment change, from 737-800 to a 700, I was ok since I like 700s more than their longer siblings.
The cabin clearly stated the plane's heritage, it had come from our side of Earth, flown previously by Aeroméxico.
While on the plane we noticed the only downside of Turkey, you can't understand Turkish at all! Thankfully they also made English anouncement in a more fluid English than AVs or IBs people.
While the cabin was filling, there was a family on the other side of the plane with a baby, they had to fix some stuff and the baby was crying. One of the crew women came and aided the family holding the baby and trying to sooth him. That thing won me over.
The seats were a bit tight, had seem some heavy use and weren't in top shape. But they did their job for the short hop into Kayseri.
All things ok, and off we where into RWY 36R. Not without a long wait, IST has really heavy traffic. Even when using two runways for takeoffs!
Takeoff permitted a view of the immensity of the city, it was huge!
As the aircraft crossed the Bosphorus we had the strongest turbulence I've ever experienced, at a point I really thought that was going to be it. But the pilots handled the situation and on we were across Anatolia.
After the horror show, meals (really unexpected) were distributed
Presentation was really nice (in GF's words, very cute)…the contents were really good, I didn't have the eggplant spread as I hate eggplant but everything was top notch.
Skies were somewhat clear, mostly foggy (somehow) but I was able to spot Ankara, and even Nevsehir's airport, by then I could tell that we were about to start descending. Landing was soft and now we where in a new continent, Asia!
As soon as we got out of the plane I guessed why the air was so foggy, it smelled a lot to coal…maybe it's that?
We deplaned via stairs so I could have to more shots at our little Boeing
We made it to the baggage claim, had our bags in no time, at the arrivals zone our transport to Göreme was waiting for us. Everyone was very kind, and the bus had WiFi, awesome!
Istanbul - ISL
Kayseri - ASR
An awesome first impression with TK. Also a great first impression of an awesome country.
TK: service was very good, with dedicated and respectful FAs; catering was really good, considering the length of the flight and that it was a domestic flight it puts to shame many other carriers. The only downside was the shape and state of the seats, and lack of IFE.
IST: The domestic terminal looks less fancy than the international one. There isn't much to do or eat, but restaurants have delicious offerings.
ASR: Good shape, efficient baggage delivery, nothing extraordinary but it did its job OK.
Thanks for reading, saludos!
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