28.12.2008 - 30.12.2008
Yep....I made it home, safe and sound. Not problems, no horror stories, no obnoxious people on the flight (except the guy next to me from Cameroon who did not know how to keep his elbows in his space. Now I know planes are tight these days, but crikey!! I think I have bruises on my arm from his restless wiggling..he was worse than a two year old!)
It was a long trip home. Left Goreme, Turkiye at 3 PM Sunday (8 EST) and here is what followed:
1 hour shuttle ride on a cold, crowded mini bus from Goreme to Kayseri. I had been given so much tea in the hours before I left that I thought my bladder would burst by the time I got to the airport in Kayseri. I had the driver a 20YTL bill and tell him to keep the change because I have to pee so bad. Oh, but then I have to go through security! Standing there, wiggling, turning yellow I'm sure I finally make it through only to have the guy at xray call me over and ask me what is in my tripod case. I explain to him what it was, he looks at me strange then tells me to go. Ok, now I have to go check in because I can't get my huge 29kg bag into the bathroom. So I check in, get my luggage checked and literally RUN to the bathroom and never in my life have I been so glad to see a squatty!! I'd take a freakin' hole in the ground at this point. Thank goodness I am pretty adept at doing the squatty potty and I didn't pee on my pants or my shoes. So it's through a second round of security which went smoothly and then about a 45 minute wait in this rinky dink tiny airport waiting for my flight to leave.
2 hour flight to Istanbul on Turkish Airlines. I like Turkish Airlines. They serve you food, even on 1 hour flights. Real food, not peanuts or pretzels. Food, beverage, hot beverage...all at no extra charge. Olympic Airlines does the same, but there food is always a mystery to me. Turkish Airlines food is identifiable at least. Usually a sandwich, a salad, and desert. Arrive Istanbul 7:20ish PM (noonish EST Sunday)
12, long, boring, long, sleepless, long hours in the Ataturk airport. Thankfully wi-fi was available. Outlets were not as easy to find though. Food was expensive. People were loud. The lights were bright. The seats were hard, cold, metal. Thank goodness nej entertained me with advice on farts. I chatted with both my DD's....I people watched. I read, I dozed. I about jumped for joy when the counters opened for me to check in at 5am. Through passport control where the guy notes I have been to Turkiye before and tells me he bets I will be back (he's right, but I will never spend another night in the airport again if I can help it) and then he asks me what color my eyes are. Uh, red, white and blue....bloodshot. Finally I can do some duty free shopping!! Then when I head to my gate I find that a large group of travelers had moved into the area in full and were sleeping on all the seats and the floor in the area. So there was no waiting there...back out to Duty Free! Finally got to board, after another security check, 20 minutes late.
3 hour flight to Zurich...I've lost track of time by now. I think it departs around 8 AM (2AM EST). Breakfast is served, thank goodness. I'm starving by now. I sleep a little. Land in Zurich a bit late, I have just about an hour before my flight leaves to DC. Thank goodness I didn't have to move from one terminal to another. This one boards and leaves on time...I think around 12:35 Zurich time (it's 6 hours earlier here I think...so around 6:35 AM EST)
9 hour flight to Dulles....boring, long, elbowed numerous times, video system quits working so I can't watch movies...at least the lady on the other side of me is nice and interesting to chat with. She's a linguist who works for the US Army. Jordanian born....tells me I should visit Jordan and Syria....I would love to! I have to say it was the most uncomfortable flight I had ever been on. Window seats are the best, I hope next time I get one.
Customs at Dulles was a piece of cake and finally I was greeted with a long, very long, very needed, very wonderful hug from my hubby. Boy did I miss those! I was so wired though, I insisted on showering, dressing in some clean clothes, and heading into DC for dinner. Yes, I miss the cities. It was nice to just walk around that evening, with Tim by my side. We had dinner at an Irish pub and then headed back to the hotel, where I think I fell into a deep Turkiye dream filled sleep as soon as my head hit the pillow. In fact when I woke up I thought I was still in Turkiye! Tuesday we drove to Charlottesville where we had lunch and then to Madison Heights to visit with my youngest daughter. It's nice to see family again. I think once we left there I must have slept on the way home, because I do not remember much of the trip. My parents were happy to see me back and it's good to be home. I'm finally getting my body back on Virginia time, although I am still having dreams that I am in Turkiye. Every night. I've managed to take some walks and did a wonderful 7 mile hike yesterday. I am determined to stay in shape. Walking in Athens and hiking in Turkiye did my body good. Let's hope I can keep it up.
Now I have to go back through my photos and do some backtrack posting of adventures that I have left out. After that I think this blog will come to an end, but there are more adventures ahead, I assure you. I will likely start a new blog. Who knows. I'll see how busy life gets.