Today I’m on my way to Turkey for probably my last holiday in medical school. Last July I went to South Africa, which is beautiful and I hope this trip to Turkey and UAE are going to be awesome too. We have transit first in Abu Dhabi, UAE before we took another flight to Istanbul because we use Etihad Airlines which based in Abu Dhabi. It was a 13 hours flight from my city, Jakarta to Attaturk airport, Turkey. Imagine how ‘comfortable’ it is to sit in economy seat for 8 hours to UAE plus another 5 hours to Turkey. I tried all sleeping position possible in my tiny space near the window and found sitting at thirty degree reclined and legs stretch below front seat to be most comfortable. As usual, I bring my trusty Bose QC30 for watching movies and listening to music, the noise cancelling is amazing. Basically it blocks the noise engine sound and if you turn the volume one level higher than you usually hear music, all the external sound are blocked. Frequent travelers will know how precious it is to invest in quality headphones for a long flight, apart from the sound quality, it also helps me sleeping.
Landing at Abu Dhabi airport using Etihad, desert could be seen everywhere.
I slept on over 5 hours on the transit flight to Abu Dhabi and watch ‘Love Punch’, a hilarious movie featuring Pierce Brosnan about pursuing a fraudulent investor. The entertainment TV in Etihad Airlines is similar to Turkish airlines, many choices of the current year blockbuster movies, some classical and local’s too. There are varieties of music as well, I repeated Katherine Jenkins album “Believe” for over 4 times and found it beautiful. I’m a fan of classical music such as Andrea Bocceli and I think Katherine Jenkins is on par with him.
Ferrari World from the air, taken on a flight from Abu Dhabi to Turkey.
The food and service in Etihad is average, I asked for tea twice on separate occasion and they didn’t serve it to me. The stewardess said she will be back in a minute but she didn’t. About an hour before arrival I was awake and watched the landscape from the sky, I was surprised to see snowcapped mountain over middle east region.
View before landing at Turkey, the land on the left is Europe while the land on the right is Asia, both continent are connected by Bosphorus bridge.
Transit at Abu Dhabi Airport is not as good as what I’m expecting, we have a stairs departure, that means we have take a bus to get to the terminal. There is a McDonalds in the airport and few cafes. I bought two cups of tea for 30 dirham, about US$8 which is quite expensive. The airport itself is not grandous like Changi or HK airport, there are few shops selling souvenirs and toys, with cafe surrounding. Duty Free Shop is more expensive than SE Asian airport, but my father bought a baileys for the trip.
Istanbul Street during the day, carpet stores are common
In Turkey, we have lunch in Chinese restaurant near Blue Mosque. Istanbul is a crowded city, there is a tram as the public transport around the city. The architecture of buildings are mostly European style and the people looks more like Europoean rather than Asian. After being stuck in a traffic we went across Bosphorus Bridge, a bridge connecting Europe and Asia. We luckily saw the sunset while crossing Bosphorus bridge, splendid colour illuminating the city. It was a beautiful two minutes across the bridge. The traffic is quite heavy in several areas, so I slept in the bus. We took a boat ride across Eskihisar using a ferry and it took two hours to Bursa.
Sunset over Istanbul, taken from Bosphorus bridge.
Today we don’t visit any places because we are tired and the road to Bursa took very long time, however we are quite satisfied because we have seen the best panorama in Istanbul at sunset. It was beautiful. At night, I stayed at Celik Palas Hotel, a nice and comfortable hotel in Bursa. I took a night walk around the hotel and swimming pool, they have a thermal spa (like Japanese Onsen) and massage services. 45 minutes later I went back to my room to take a bath and sleep comfortably.