So, once in a blue moon you will know you are going to have a bad travel day. July 31st was that blue moon and we had that bad day. It actually started out and was fantastic for a good part of the day. We met up with our group around 9:15 AM. By now some of us were fast friends. Tony and Jean from New York were on a adrenilan filled balloon ride high that I convinced them to take. How could you not take a balloon trip in Cappidocia? We did the ride the previous morning and true to my sales background I convinced them that this was not to be missed. They loved it! So did we!
Our day was spent, mostly outside, exploring the weird and wonderful rock formations in and around Goreme. It was hot and we kept drinking water to stay hydrated. the Zelve Open Air Museum was new to me and very insightful.
We also had a couple of shopping stops, one to see "Einstein's pottery and the carpet weavers at work. Despite the great sales skills of the carpet sales people we avoided purchasing a carpet. If you have been following the blog, you should know that the package from Jennifer's Hamam has already been delivered to Calgary, two days total, including time for the seamstress to custom make the bathrobe! Now that is service we don't get in Canada!
Now back to the blue moon story. At the end of the touring day we said goodbye to our tour guide, Utku, and were off to the airport. Let's just say that there are now 'texting, driving, talking on the phone laws' and there are no photo rarer cameras between Goreme and Nevsehir. Crazy driving is an understatement.
After paying the excess baggage fees to our low cost carrier, Pegasus we waited, and waited and waited. Flight was delayed 20 minutes, which was just a guideline to keep the customers calm. The 9 PM actually departed around 10 PM. The flight attendants did nothing for service, no food, no beverage cart, no safety checks. They just sat at the front in the jump seat and made the occasional announcement.
Did I mention that this is low cost carrier? Now, we only paid about 40.00 per person for this flight so we didn't have high expectations. Also, it seems the government doesn't tax air flights like In Canada.
Now we had to get a connection so it was getting a bit iffy to make it. Not to worry, we arrived in Istanbul for the connection only to find the next flight was delayed an hour. While waiting for the delayed flight, another flight to Kayseri was cancelled and I never, ever, ever seen an angry mob form so quickly. They had to bring in supervisors to calm people down. Wow, I wish I had recorded it.
We left to get on the plane about 90 minutes late and then we sat in the apron, and waited and waited and waited. Crying kids, fighting brothers, an anxious guy with a bouquet of quickly wilting flowers were only some of the characters. At least this flight crew brought around water, for 3 Turkish lira (remember this is low cost). To add to my angst I was in the window seat and feeling a bit claustrophobic. The 11:35 PM flight finally left at 2:30 AM. It seems the early morning hours are the most popular for departures. Do these people ever sleep? In Toronto they have a "no flight" policy between midnight and 6 AM but not in Turkey.
Off to get our baggage and, you guessed it, no luggage. Perfect! It seems out luggage went to Terminal 1 and we were in Terminal 2. More time passes and finally the luggage arrives. Now it is 3:30 AM and the blue moon is looking brilliant but fading because dawn is about to break! We get a taxi who assures us he knows where our hotel is. Of course, that is not the case. He tries to drop us off at Hotel Hadrianus and we are booked at Hadrian's Gate Hotel. Back in the cab because we aren't letting this guy go before he delivers us to the right hotel! Two stops to ask directions and help from a hotel clerk at the Angel Hotel (Coincedence ? Maybe!) we arrive at our little oasis.
Only a delayed arrival time of about 4 hours but we are here in Antalya. No worse for wear, except for lacking sleep. The nice part of holidays is that you can sleep in and we did! Antalya is charming, authentic and friendly. A change from the frenetic activity of Istanbul. I think we will enjoy the stay.