Friday, 19 May 2017

The return to Byzantium (SZG to IST)

 The Salzburg city bus drops me right at the airport.  
A strange sight. The Orient and the Alps

NO, I don't have to fly in THAT

A short while into the flight, the flight attendant announces something in Turkish over the PA system and half the plane breaks out in vigorous and joyful applause.  What is going on?

The message is repeated in English:  Today on May 19th we celebrate Commemoration of Atatuerk, Youth, and Sports Day.  Given that we're on a flight to Turkey and that all three of those items (even though it's ODD to bundle them for a holiday) are actually quite positive (unless you're Armenian), I'm slightly astonished that I am the ONLY one of the NON-TURKISH fraction of passengers who does the polite thing in a Turkish Airlines plane and claps.

Since I'm not an American Football fan, this flight is the very FIRST time that I see this amazing commercial.  

I hate commercials !  But this one is different (or maybe better targeted at my consumer group, LOL).

But watch it and be your own judge ;-)

I get to Ataturk International at 22:15 but it takes quite a while to get through the long immigration line-up. 

Now is the time to save quite a few Turkish Lira for one's favourite charity by taking public transit instead of a taxi.  In most places, there really is NO need to take a taxi from the airport anymore.  It's REALLY that simple to help people who are in situations that they REALLY shouldn't be in ;-)

Navigating my way out the airport for a cigarette and to the Metro system is surprisingly easy. I manage to operate the transit card vending machine and get myself an Istanbulkart, a re-loadable transit pass.

Ataturk Metro Station. When I try to take another picture, I am told not to.

It's late but the Metro is kind-of busy.   Partly because it is late and partly because I'm tired, I feel a bit of anxiety of catching the right connection, but Google Maps was correct and after switching Metro lines at Yenikapi, the second train delivers me to a stop right in the centre of the Metro Bridge over the Golden Horn, about 300 meters from my hotel ;-)

Halic (Golden Horn) Metro Station

I get to my hotel at midnight and am a little proud of myself for having navigated a still strange city late at night using only public transit.  

But that is a North-American attitude.  There is nothing really to be proud of. What I'm really proud of is having overcome the fear and paranoia that today's world seems to instill in everyone !

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