Saturday, October 3, 2015

New York to Kiev to Istanbul Flight

Woohoo! We're in Istanbul!! It only took about 20 hours, but we made it safe and sound. :)

Our flight was supposed to leave at midnight, but without any reason or notification, it was changed to 12:30 (not a delay, it just said that's the departure time) and then we didn't actually leave until around 1:30am. Needless to say, we were tired, so we tried to sleep most of the way there.

Isa was especially tired, since she was murdered just a few hours earlier (at a murder mystery party at PJ and Courtney's house).

We took Ukraine International Airlines because Isa found a ridiculous deal. Their staff at JFK was awful. No announcements, no information, just confusion. Even boarding over an hour after our flight was supposed to leave, the board still said it was departing on time. :/ We also didn't really care for the people on our plane, and from other various experiences throughout the flight, we completely scratched Ukraine off our list of places to go to. Ever. 

The food was decently good though.

It took us 9 hours to get from JFK to Kiev, where (thanks to our delay) we didn't have to wait very long for our next flight to Istanbul. And part of that was spent getting the runaround at their international transfer desk (which it seemed was just there to look at our boarding pass and tell us, "Yes, you are not staying here, indeed you are going to another country." which we totally could have told them ourselves).

In Boryspil Airport in Kiev, they had decals on mirrors which were fun to play with.

Most of them were only a few feet off the ground, so I'm thinking they're for kids. Or maybe Ukrainians are just short.

The flight to Istanbul was a quick 2-hour flight. I was very excited to fly over Istanbul at night and use our new Canon G7X because it takes fantastic low-light pictures.

Until I looked at a map and found out that's not Istanbul at all. :(

We got Turkish Lira from the airport ATM and found the Metro. All the machines were out of IstanbulKarts (their metrocards) which I was really upset about. It was late (about 10:30pm at this poitn), I hadn't slept much, and having to buy tokens for each ride almost doubled the cost of the ride (albeit just $1 more). So we bought tokens at 4 lira a pop (about $1.33 now) and took the metro from the airport to Zeytinburnu (20 minutes), then switched to the tram/lightrail (another 4 lira token) from there into Sultanahmet, the center of old town Istanbul (30 minutes from Zeytinburnu). The whole public transportation route cost us under $3 each and took just under an hour, which is much better than going into New York from JFK.

It only took us a few minutes to find our hotel (Edibe Sultan). We are very happy with our choice.

We were pretty hungry, so we wandered out just before midnight looking for food.

It was good! Or maybe we were just really hungry. 

We sat and ate our Doner Et Kebaps (we think et means meat, and they spell kebab "kebap" here, weird) on a bench looking at Hagia Sophia.

So excited to be here!

Here's a video of today's adventure:

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