Sunday, 25 April 2010

Kembaraksa@Istanbul-Amsterdam-London Day 2

16 April 2010

Still hoping to go to Amsterdam. Checking with Airlines what are the possible flights available. From the news last night we got to know all flights to Europe were cancelled due to volcanic erroption in Iceland. I had a feeling that i will not be short time. It will take weeks. What should we do?My husband still keeping hope. We keep contacting our friend in Amstermdam, updating him our status. We are using Skype as mode of communication. Alhamdullllah the hotel provides wireless access. Then we contact him updating him our status and check with him the airport status over there. We also like to consider Paris as another destination to stop beside brussel, dusserdolf and Frankfurt. But after hearing from the news that all train station also get congested we have to re-consider our option.

Airlines are busy to check on next departure flight, trying to cancel our cruise trip from Rotterdam to London (Stenaline) and we stuck here waiting for instructions from Airlines. But Alhamdulillah at least we have hotel and good food because I could see other people they had to stayed in the airport.

by 12.00 p.m suddenly the janitor hush us to leave the room. She is talking in Turkish, I cannot understand. But from the way she is talking that she want us to leave the room. I checked with the operator was it true and he confirmed right because we will be moved into another hotel by Airlines. After having our meal we waited for bus to come and pick up us at the lobby. After 4.00 then the bus arrived. We noticed we were moved to a hotel more nearer to the airport because I remembered the road when we first took during city tour sight seeing. In comparison to the first hotel is further in the downtown.

More better I hope. Yeah it is a 4-star rate hotel. And we noticed added to group another group of passengers who also stranded in Istanbul on the way to London. Amongst them is an old lady and a young pregnant mother with a child. So pity. They were both alone and now become family helping each other.

The Hotel (Grand Senol Hotel) offers us good meal as well and the kids enjoyed the hotel so much and forget temporarily their trip.

Still no news from airlines , no flight can fly to europe. I insisted my husband we got to plan something. Sooner or later our holidays will end. We cannot keep on counting of the airline plan. So I started to search for second alternative, like what if we just stay and have the vacation in Istanbul. I started inquiring the front dest, the places of interest in Istanbul since we did not make any homework at all for Istanbul. We got several brochures from the frontdesk and I started to plan what if we have to stay here. Recall K. Dillah advice if I did not make any reservation yet, she advised me to find somewhere in Sultanahmet Area. It has train link to Airport. Easy access town for movement I guess. So I kept her words in my mind.

At the same time my husband still try to work out for option to go to Amsterdam. I had something in my mind tomorrow, if there is no plan for flight we plan to stay in the same hotel and spent time here in Istanbul. We asked about the rate of our room we had now, it was about 150TL. Family suite. We calculate our cash and it is affordable. So if things no change tomorrow we will be ready to stay in Istanbul. Again after lunch, the airline want us to get ready to move into another hotel. Then quickly we pack our stuff and move to back into another town called Merter. This time the Hotel name is Gunnes Hotel.

Kembaraksa@Istanbul- Amsterdam - London - Day 1

Hotel Sahinler

15 April 2010

Today I cannot stop myself to enjoy my feelings to have our trip to Amsterdam. Feel time tick so slow. After complete my last task at 4.10 sent my last mail for this week to my Boss, I quickly took my bath and dress up the kids and do final check on all our luggage. 1 ,2 and 3. add 2 knapsack. My mom said.. I took 1 month preparation only to pack the bags ..hehehehe. sorry mum to bother you with all my request. The Deuter bag, the Brahim's pack and stuff.
Then we drove to Jeddah, to Yusof house to park our car. He offered us his help to sent us the airport tonight. Our fligh is at 2.00 a.m 16 April. The time was purposely arrangement such a manner because to we want to catch the free sightseeing tour in Istanbul by Turkish Airlines. Since this Year is Turkey visit year, the airline has arrange if we stopover in Istanbul for one whole day we are entitled for city sigthseeing tour inclusive lunch. So I could not see why we should not take this opportunity.

We arrived in Attartuk Terminal Airport at 6.30 a.m. It tooked one hour to clear all immigration check out. Only one counter was opened at that time may be too early. After an hour several counters were opened. Started searching for Turkish Airlines to ask bout our free trip. Still feel afraid if the trip is only true in clause but not available in real. But Alhamdulillah, finally we found the booth and we were told the trip will be at 9.00 it is just around the time, an hour before. We saw many others tourist also will join us. One group from Indonesia, their destination is London, few indiviuals passengers (students) , few transit passengers returning from Easter vacation from various destinations all plan to Europe countries like Amsterdam, Brussel etc.

We now with a group of tourist having our one-day Istanbul Trip. Our destination is Topkapi Sarayi, Sultanahmet Mosque(Blue Mosque), Haghia Sophia, Hippodrome, Arasta Covered Bazaar, Lunch and return to the airport.At least we had some ideas of Turkey as pre-visit and may be next time we will come again.

The places were so beautiful, we enjoyed the city buildings(the ancient time). We have one beautiful tourist guide providing infos and history of the places we went. Though it was a quick tour, but really satisfying. We had our lunch in Tamara Restaurant. Delicous Turkey meal. Kebab, Tavuk, and small portion of Egyptian rice, plus soup of the day, bread, salad and ended with Turkish tea and the famous baklava.

I have calculated in my head. One day Turkey will be my next destination. Then we returned to the airport and our kids were looking forward to fly to Amsterdam. My son was really look forward to visit the Ntural History Museum in London...

On the way to get our luggage where we left earlier at the Turkish Airline Office, my son suddenly told me a shocking sentence, " IBu our flight to Amsterdam was cancelled". I said , " No lah, you might mistakenly see the status". But he insisted it as true and mentioned that was our flight number. He was very keen to go and he had checked on every single thing he saw. We were waited for my husband to update us. When he returned, he said it was true that our flight was cancelled and next flight will be may be tomorrow morning to frankfurt. I told him to check for Brussel or Dusseldorf as well. The kids felt a little bit upset. What to do, we do not the reason. After a while I saw on the electronic board, it was not only one flight cancelled, almost all flight to Europe countries were cancelled. Whats's wrong ? Is there any problem to the world and I started to worry. How bout tonight is the Airline will provide us hotel? My hubby replied positively and now we are waiting for the bus to bring us to the hotel.

It is almost 9.00 p.m when the bus came and pick us. It took us 3 hours in the bus where mostly the bus is not moving seemed like the driver lost and cannot find the place. He frequently came down from the bus and asked for hotel direction. Our kids now all fall asleep. My watch now showed 11.30 suddenly the bus driver told us to get down and we have to walk to the hotel. The bus was stucked in the busy road. The road is so narrow and I noticed it is an hilly area and trafffic was busy at that time. It is difficut for the bus to move or turn.

As usual we are always be the last person to get down from the bus because we travelled with many small family members and its better to get down last. But unfortunately, Aina who supposed to take care of one the knapsack, she forgot to bring down the bag because still 'mamai'. When I realized the bag is not with him I told my husband to get the bag before the bus left. While all of us waited for him try to catch which direction the last bus passenger turn into. Its pretty scarry in the middle of the night, when almost every shop about to close we have to stood there waiting for our my husband with all the luggage with us. I cannot see now where the last passenger went to. It is almost past 15 minutes when my husband left. He supposed not to take so much time because the bus is not so far. But now more than 30 minutes, O my God, Now I notice, what if he did not returned. We did not have all our passport with us. They were with him. No cash, no documents and people around us cannot speak English. Almost feel like crying.

Now the kids started to worry when they saw their mum 'gelabah'. We lost from the group and lost from my husband and it was middle of the night. I tried to make myself stepped on a slightly higher pedestrian walk so that hoping my husband could see me. Luckily, he noticed and quickly returned to us and he told me that he took the wrong turn that's why it took him time. Now we had another problem, where is the hotel? We tried the route where I saw the last person went to. And we reach to a junction and we did not know which turn should we take. One more time my husband told us to wait and this time round, I am more smatter, I keep all our passport with us and some cash. Now this area is more scarrier, almost all shops were closed and some few men approached my kids offer them chocolate and tried to talk to me in Turkish language. I tried not to be so friendly neither being so ignorance.

Alhamdulillah after 10 minutes, my husband returned and told us he found the hotel. Finally , we check in and get some doner kebab as dinner. The kids intially were hungry but after what happened the felt so tired and fall asleep. I cannot sleep well thinking what is going to be happen tomorrow. Hoping we could still go to Amsterdam.
Together with us is a group of Dutch who would like to go back to Amsterdam and London after Easter Holiday VAcation and some of them from Brussel, returning from Umrah.