Our taxi is early. We arrive at the train station with plenty of time. After 3 changes we get to Birmingham airport. Our hotel is the IbisBudget. It’s ok, and very well located. We have dinner in their restaurant ( not much choice ) but it’s functional all in all.
We go to the airport at 8 am. Our plane is at 10:50. The place is pandemonium. Massive queues even with express boarding! Most of the airport is a building site. The chaos combined with all the trains changes is a good reason I will never use this airport again!
We go straight to the lounge and have breakfast there.
The flight is ok, the food, with Turkish Airways, is always very nice. We arrive at Istanbul at 4:30pm local time. Earlier than scheduled. We have a hotel, which was included with our plane tickets, for a 24h stay. Taxi not included though and the hotel is 45km away. Basically the other side of Istanbul.
The hotel is nice ( a Sheraton) but is in the middle of huge buildings sites!
We go for a walk later on and try to find a place for dinner. After crossing a huge motorway we find a busy street with plenty of shops and restaurants. We have a nice dinner at a little place.
We observe lots of people with bandages from, clearly, plastic surgery, including hair transplant! Watching the TV program Botched helps to know what is what 😇. Turkey is definitely becoming a magnet for that. Maybe I should go there to get my troublesome ankle checked? More chance than getting the NHS to take any interest!
We go back to the hotel for a good night sleep. 2 days travel has been tiring.
We leave the hotel at noon. We have time and our flight is at 4:50pm.
Istanbul airport is how an airport should be run, efficiently, stress free, no giants queues, smiling or at least polite staff, lots of space, no sense of overcrowding. We pass the controls in few minutes. The waiting area is massive, and I mean it, staff in the airport use electric scooters and trikes to get a round. They drive very fast and we observe a couple of crashes against walls. Amusing. No one got hurt. The workers are definitely loving their scooters!
We have few hours before our flight so we go to the lounge and try few meals. Really nice stuff on offer. And they even have champagne, so me being french I get a couple of glasses. It’s free after all!
The flight was ok. It’s a total of 9 hours, hence why we decided to break with 24h stop in Istanbul.
We land at 6am local time in Bangkok. We take a taxi to our hotel. We arrive there at 9am. The heat and humidity is hard to take. Not used to it since we left Brazil.
The friendly girl at reception checks for a free room and gives us our key. Normal check-in is 2pm. I am very grateful.
We have a snooze for few hours and I do some research for the next leg of our trip. I also book another hotel, few hundreds meters away from here, as it has a swimming pool. We plan to stay few days in Bangkok.
The 3 days travel was very tiring, but also the last few weeks, months, have been manic. Moving house 4 weeks ago, for Alistair holding almost a full time job and spending all his spare time with never ending very long drive to his mother’s house and looking after her, spending many of his weekends and free weekdays over there. This has been going on for over a year now and the reason we had to cancel our planned 3 months last winter trip to Spain and also our two months motorcycle trip to Morocco last spring. I am done cancelling stuff. It’s over.
We go for a walk and have a very nice Pad Thai in a little place. We decide for an early night as we are exhausted. With 6 hours difference with the UK we take an off the counter sleeping tablet. The stuff knocks me out until noon next day.
After a shower we go out for a late brunch of fried eggs and rice. Just what we used to have across Russia and Central Asia too! It works!
I have a sore throat and feeling rather unwell, so we go back to the hotel, not planning much for few days.
Alistair goes out to explore while I have a rest.
I am still suffering from a horrible cold with quite a bit of fever so we are taking it easy. I am still not adjusting to the local time so it is hard to sleep.
In another hand it gives me a bit of time for planning.