It's a gorgeous day. The fog is slowly lifting off the Bosporus, the fishing boats are scattered about the the tiny bays formed by the curves of Asia and Europe, the sun is shining and some crows are cawing nearby.
The journey was a long one, a three and a half hour flight to O'Hare, three hour layover and a nine hour and forty-five minute flight to Istanbul. I have to say that this was the most pleasant trip I have taken in a while— the airport staff at SFO, O'Hare and Atatürk International were really friendly and helpful.
I haven't flown Turkish Airlines in several years, and was happily surprised by the changes made to the cabin. There was considerably more legroom in the Economy Class than in most airlines I have flown, and the seats were upholstered in this soft vibrant turquoise fabric. Above the windows were pink lights that gently tinted the cabin in a warm rosy glow, and the ceiling above the overhead baggage compartments was lit with a vivid blue light, giving the cabin a loungey vibe. Each seat had its own screen in the back of the seat in front of them, with an interactive touch screen menu and remote control in the arm rest. There was a variety of programming to choose from, current Hollywood movies, Bollywood movies, cartoons and something I've never seen before— a live camera with the pilot's view of the sky! How exciting it was to watch the takeoff and landing as if you were in the cockpit!
The food wasn't anything to write about, but plentiful and free, unlike so many other airlines that make you pay for measly little prepackaged boxes of junk food. Oh— and I was delighted to see and down several glasses of one of my favourite childhood drinks, vişne suyu (veeshne soo-yoo), sour cherry juice. It's sour and sweet and oh-so-divine! I would give Turkish Airlines four out of five peanuts on my Airline Fabulousness scale.
When I arrived, the airport wasn't too crowded and I was able to breeze through the visa and passport control lines. My two enormous suitcases safely arrived— I always get a little nervous when my luggage doesn't come turning around the conveyor within the first three minutes— and I took off. Below are the first images of Istanbul I took on the ride home.