Monday, 27 March 2017

CGN to SAW or A journey to Erdoganistan

10:45 am in Cologne
I just looked at Google Maps to plan my public bus trip from Sabiha Go"kcen Airport to my hotel in Istanbul.. And I can't believe how EXCITED I got just looking at that map and those barely familiar places.  In my mind I'm already on that bus, on that ferry from Asia back to Europe, and walking along the Golden Horn with a view of all those mosques to my hotel.   
YES, now I'm sure. 
Going back there was exactly the RIGHT decision ;-)

The S-Bahn takes me to Cologne Airport
Now there are a few names on here which one would RARELY see in North America ;)
I got a boarding pass at the Pegasus Airlines counter.  NO, Germans do NOT seem to be flying to Turkey these days.  The line-up is dominated by Anatolian features.


The security check is different.  I pass the actual check without any problems, but then a member of the German Police doesn't seem to like my looks.  I have to wait with putting on my belt again until he double-checks my passport and until I have produced my FLIGHT TICKET. What a joke.  You don't even need them anymore. Walking up with a passport to a check-in counter is sufficient these days.  But as I told the hotel guy this morning "I'm only printing it out for the unlikely event that they feel frisky at the airport today".  Paranoia is spreading around the globe.  Or maybe that German pig's dream is to be the first to discover the Next Carlos ?


Oh, ANOTHER e-mail related to Seamus trying to arrange a meeting between me and a gay artist friend of his in Istanbul.  Well, he's a darling for trying, LOL
Pegasus Airlines (Good thing it's not Ikarus Airlines, LOL)


Seamus' friend must have got scared; I get an e-mail that he escaped/escapaded (his words) to Antalya.
My seat neighbor is looking at HOME

18:15 pm

I have landed on Turkish soil. I can't wipe that grin off my face
Something else learned:  A carton of cigarettes in Cologne Duty Free costs 37 Euros. That same carton in the Arrival Duty Free at Sahiba Gokcen Airport costs 22 Euros.  'nough said?

Normally, I'd take the public bus, but my thinking is that if I take a taxi to the ferry pier (NOT to the hotel!), I'd still get some daylight on the ferry crossing.

The plan of a rapid taxi trip to the ferry is foiled by Istanbul traffic.
The taxi finally delivers me to Harem (NO, really, that's what the ferry terminal is called).  Only after I get on the ferry, do I realize that this is NOT actually the ferry terminal I had been thinking of. Ah well, I'm here for adventure, am I not?

By the time I get to Sirkeci, I am HUNGRY and I do realize that I don't have the exact coordinates of my hotel on my phone's map.   I need FOOD & WiFi !

It's an olive in oil dip. Simply AMAZING

Galata Sembol Balik the place is called
9 pm
I step out of the restaurant on Galata Bridge JUST when the muezzin in the giant mosque not more than 200 meters from me starts his call for evening prayers.  These are the things, These are the things, the things that dreams are made of !


I'm walking toward the small hooded figure crouched in the doorway of the unmarked building for the 2nd time.  But this time I know that it's the owner of my hotel waiting for his last guest, LOL.  And indeed, as soon as I rounded the corner, he pointed at me.

The strangest thing happens. I check in, he doesn't have any change,so I have to owe him 5 Turkish Lira.  We get along, he shows me my Studio (UP FIVE floors along a spiral staircase) and he asks me whether he can ask me Mr KING.  I naturally assume that he speaks German and ask him whether he does, but he is adamant that he doesn't.  And I'm not even wearing my Tiara today, LOL.

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