Saturday, August 18, 2007
My worst trip: Miami - Istanbul, but final destination
When I left this daily sunset in Miami behind on August the 17th, 2002, heading for Istanbul, I knew that my life would be different, totally different in Istanbul.
It's now exactly five years ago that I moved from the 'Capital of Latin America, Miami' to Istanbul; the cultural and business Capital of Turkey and of so many other things and in fact of nothing, because it still denies its heritage.
Anyway, between 2000 and 2002, I was traveling extensively between Europe and the USA and within Europe and America. And earned so many Air miles (Skymiles of Delta, Air France and British Airways), that I was able to make at least one inter-continental trip each year for free. So, my last flight from Miami to Europe was a free one. With some stop-overs, but who cares, if the excitement of going to live in another country got me head over heels.
Anyway, the free trip was: Miami-Atlanta-Milan-Paris-Istanbul.
The flight from Miami to Atlanta was a flight which I took so many times. But from there it was always Amsterdam as final destination. Now: Milan (not Malpensa). There I had to wait for 10 hrs. for a flight to Paris, from where a direct flight to Istanbul was booked for me.
The flight from Atlanta was an overnight flight: leaving on Friday at 6 PM, local time, and arriving the day after, Saturday the 18th of August at 8.00 AM in Milan. And then: niente.
Waiting, with three heavy suite cases for my flight to Paris. But... my flight to Paris was canceled at the last minute at 3 PM. So, how could I reach the people who were waiting for me at Atatürk Airport? Thanks to Air France, which allowed me to make a phone call to Istanbul for free (my credit cards and mobile phone where left behind in Miami, as you understand).
But then, more important, how could I make it to Istanbul? And again, with a lot of help of employees of Air France and Alitalia, they booked me on a flight to Vienna with Lauda Airlines. Don't think that this is some kind of charter: it's first class only. In Vienna I had to wait 2 hrs. before Austrian Airlines took off at 11.30 PM for Istanbul. An Airbus with...12 passengers...so we were all treated like Royalty...))
At 2 AM, Sunday,I landed already safe in Istanbul. An exhausting trip of 32 hrs.
He, am I bored in Istanbul? No way, life is never dull here...like my trip from Miami to Istanbul.