dennis s. hurddennis s. hurd

Thursday, March 31, 2022

Nearly 10,000 KM today!

Day 135 - This is the last post starting with the number of a day for a while.  Our winter away was 135 days in total.  This has been a day dedicated to transportation. It started pretty normally for our Istanbul stay. We got up a bit earlier and went up for breakfast in the rooftop restaurant at around 8:30 AM. 

After putting everything in the bags, we headed down and let the hotel call a taxi. The driver didn't speak any English but after 50 kilometers managed to enter the transit level so we could find the Istanbul Airport COVID-testing centre. The huge lab area was at the far end of the terminal but we had a hard time getting inside. Eventually, we rolled our luggage to the correct area in the departures and used elevators inside the airport. Canada will end mandatory COVID testing from tomorrow. However, we still needed to show proof of a negative result even though TK 0075 arrived at YVR a mere eight hours before the requirement ends.

The swab was mouth and nose with the same tip!  Eww.  In fifteen minutes we picked up the printed results but I think they were also attached to all our ticketing and immigration documentation. The rapid antigen test cost about $CA 15.  The area must've been hopping at one point in time but as testing is ramping down, it was pretty quiet.
  Not Much COVID Testing at IST 
Nothing was out of the ordinary in getting back. We got through long lines and got on the plane. Although it was a bit late pulling back from the gate, we ended up getting into YVR on time. It took us two and a half hours to get home, although the flight was twelve and a half! The miracle of time zones!

The thing I'll most likely remember from the flight was the large, elderly nana heading to Vancouver alone.  She could only speak Russian and relied heavily on the help of a young woman who spoke only English.  Oh, and also I will remember wanting to rip all my clothes off and run up and down the aisle singing some 80s ballad.  I always feel that way after about six hours in the same seat.  In this case, it was numbered 20K.
  Heading Home (IST)

The worst part of getting home was our time in YVR.  

I was sort of embarrassed by the experiences in our own airport.  Nothing could keep up with the crowds.  First, there was a line getting to the queue for the self-declaration kiosks.  Then there was an enormous line to get to the location where an officer checked the printout and waved us towards the luggage carousels.   After that, we waited literally hours for our luggage couldn't get out due to a previous Qantas flight.   No one was pulling off the luggage, so the new bags weren't coming out.  Frustrating.  Finally, we only got out soon because Jay waited in line to show the customs printout to two officers waiting near the single exit.  While he was in line, I wanted and waited for the bags.  So we were more than two hours to get out of the terminal.

At least, our young Seikh, Uber driver was interesting and talkative.  We got back to the apartment at around 6:45.  Yay, home!  That's what I added to Facebook!


2 comments:

Dave said...

Glad you both made it back safe. Now where are you going next?

DennisSylvesterHurd said...

We hang around BC during summer and fall. It's the optimum time of year! However some short journeys are possible ...

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