The Journey of just getting there....

Trip Start Jul 19, 2012
Trip End Jul 24, 2012

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Flag of Turkey  ,
Thursday, July 19, 2012

Traveling standby in the summer....some in the business would never ponder such a thought, and to add to the challenge, pick a popular destination in Europe, on a day where unfortunately the day before there where unexpected storms on the East Coast which threw the loads off our direct flight to Istanbul out of Newark, NJ , and now made thoughts of getting on that flight next to impossible. Time for the back up plan.....You always have to have one of those when traveling on your benefits. Figure out another routing,,,,and one that had a strong chance of getting us really great seats! Yes, for all of you that travel for a living, the goal is to sit up front, or as close as you can get..

My mom and I sat in first class on one of our first Travels together to Paris, over 10 years ago, and once you've had a taste of the good life up in the castle , its very hard to sit back in the village. They don't serve endless free champagne in the village my mom seems to notice, so I had a little pressure to keep up with her standards....:)

I creatively came up with a plan to meet my mom in Washington Dulles, where we would fly to Geneva, Switzerland ( another place on my list!) then buy a discount standby ticket on Turkish Airlines and connect to our destination, Istanbul. You have to be willing to take a chance, and have a whole lot of patience to save $10,000. (that's really how much it cost to sit up front for that flight) Crazy ! So, I'm trying to do this trip for free, or close to it, so you can see how the challenge is on,,,,,and so worth it!
Everything fell into place....without one glitch! Thank you travel gods! My life of positive thought , and a whole lot of karma, continues to work for me.
My mom and met in DC, and we got first class to Geneva...where the scenery was amazing as we landed in the green landscape surrounded by the Swiss alps. My mom and I enjoyed our 6 course meal up front, and yes, endless champagne. My mom is officially spoiled,,,,again. So glad to be able to continue to treat her like such royalty. All for the cost of two free vacation passes, and discount tickets on Turkish one way for both of us $138. . So worth the creative re-routing effort!

We decide to take the public transportation to the hotel we are staying at in the Old City. We want to fit in and be so local! which is a funny thought since no matter how " European" we dress , we stand out like a sore thumb. Everyone here has dark hair, my blond and my moms light hair, it is hard to blend in. And not to mention we are pulling suitcases up stairs and down cobble stone streets, while the temperature is hovering at a warm 85 degrees. Maybe thoughts of a shuttle bus on our way back to the airport! But the journey on public trains is cheap cost for both of us ...$6.

We found our quaint hotel tucked back in a old neighborhood in the old city, almost directly behind the famous Blue Mosque. It is also the start of Ra-madam,,,the very famous Muslim ritual of fasting during the day, and celebrating with food and music after the sun sets every evening . The chants of calls to prayer echo out over the roof tops, and are enchanting. The calls go out at 5 times a day They start as early as 5 am every morning.. Such dedication and admiration for such tradition no matter your faith.
Our day was long, our journey almost 24 hours to get here. We spend our evening sharing a bottle of local wine on the rooftop terrace of our hotel at sunset being serenaded by the chants of calls to prayer, what a surreal way to end your day,. so grateful for the opportunity to share this with my mom who is so exited to visit all the mosques and museums. and I the Bazaars and exploring the fascinating streets of this ancient city. With a whole lot of eating along the way....
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carla on

Hi!! OMG...I am so happy to hear you are sharing your travels with Mama!! Thanks for sharing...and I love you Hun!!

Sarah on

I am sooo glad you two got on and got first class! You two deserved it! Yayyy!!!

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