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The Travel Journal of Jacqui and Lars

 

Turkey - 3 October, 2002

 

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Location Latitude Longitude Elevation

Travel Distance

Start Istanbul (Hyatt Regency Hotel) N4102.449' E02859.345' 83 meters .
Istanbul International Airport . . . .
Finish On board SQ3 to bound for Singapore

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Total Leg 3:

4,807 km

Total Leg 2:

2,153 km

Total Leg 1:

3,018 km

Grand Total:

9,978 km

 

Weather: Cloudy, rain and cool.

 

 

This is our last day in Istanbul and the last day of our trip through Central Asia.  While it has been a great trip, we are ready to head home.  And the weather seems to tell us that - it is overcast with rain and cool.  Our flight leaves mid-day, so we have a slow morning and a light breakfast before doing our final packing and getting ready.  Checking out of the hotel is fast (we did not make any major charges) and we hailed a taxi.

 

It was good that they have some big taxis here, so we are able to load all our bags and us into one car.  It is quite a long drive to the airport and we arrive around 11:30 AM.  Then the headaches start.  Security is tight, but not well managed.  They x-ray the bags before we can enter into the airport, and they do not have enough machines or people.  The line is huge and almost extends all the way out the door.  It is good that we got here early.

 

After a long wait in line, we finally get our bags up on the machine and send them through only to be called aside at the other end.  They want to go through our bags - not for security items but to look at stuff that we had purchased.  None of the usual things were looked at (computers, electronics, etc) - they wanted to see if we had purchased any Turkish antiques.  They picked our stuff apart even though we told them that we did not buy anything in Turkey (it was too expensive anyway).  About 5 guys came over and surrounded us.

 

Our Uzbek hats and jewelry caught their attention and it took us a long time to persuade them that they did not come from Turkey (we do not think they would even recognise a Turkish antique if they saw one).  They were rue and did not handle the stuff well.  It seemed they were looking for a "fine" and when it became clear that we were not budging in our statements they the items were not from Turkey, they moved on in a huff.

 

After checking in, we went to grab a quick meal.  Once again, we were shocked at how expensive things were in Turkey.  We ended up only having enough money for one burger, fries and a drink to share between the two of us.  Then through another security screening (not the best) and onto the plane for our flight back home.

 

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