Arrival in Izmir, Western Turkey

Turkey > Izmir

February, 2013

Morning departure at Kuala Lumpur International Airport KUL, and we start with a hearty breakfast surrounded by nicely done Chinese New Year decorations. Yes, we are spending the New Year (of the Water Snake) in Turkey.

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We have done web check-in, so bag drop and collecting our boarding passes for KUL-DOH-IST are painless. Only anxiety is the 50min transfer at Doha Airport to change planes for the flight to Istanbul Ataturk. We have this pass called ‘short transfer’, yellow in colour with orange edges — this should allow us to cut the queue during security check at DOH. Should be less painful when the new Hamad International Aiport opens in April.

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Formalities done, we loiter outside our gate till the troops arrive. Time to get in.

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Our plane KUL-DOH, Airbus A330-200, reg. A7-AFM. This is flight QR621.

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Uneventful routine flight to Doha — a 7:45hr journey.

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So uneventful that I can’t even remember what I have for lunch!

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As usual the cool blue lights come on, time to nap.

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Very quick plane change at DOH and we are now doing the DOH-IST sector QR480, which is more interesting, as an EK A380 outruns us above the Persian Gulf. We are on an Airbus A320 A7-ADB, a shabby plane, by QR standard. Full of families with kids (and maids of course), most likely on vacation. Hope our single check-in luggage is on the same plane.

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Stewardesses with glasses look kinda cute, by the way.

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Nice dinner we are served — there are chunks of tasty beef down there buried inside the rice. This is a 5-hr flight.

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Snow-capped mountains in southeastern Turkey start appearing. ย Amazing that less than 1 hour from the desert, we have this landscape. I notice the flight path avoids Syrian airspace — in any case most planes from the Gulf would head northwesterly along the Tigris river (over Mosul), and once at the Iraq-Turkey border, they turn left. Syria is definitely not popular at the moment.

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Istanbul Ataturk Airport IST finally. Pleasant, easy-to-navigate airport, immigration and custom a breeze. We make our way from the international terminal to the domestic one for our connecting flight to Izmir Adnan Menderes Airport ADB. Quite a long walk, but covered and warm, so no issue with the freezing wet weather outside. By the way, our check-in bag from KUL arrives safely with us.

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First visit to Turkey, that’s country #50 for me, if my reckoning is correct. A milestone indeed!ย :)

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Time to kill, and we find a comfy place opposite this clinic next to the domestic terminal, which seems more like a beauty parlour — even with no knowledge of Turkish we could figure it out … ‘Laser Epilasyon’, ‘Botox’, hmmm …

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Ready to board our flight to Izmir ADB – KK4028, 1-hr flight. Still a long way before we get a warm comfy bed to rest on.

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AtlasJet Airbus A321 TC-ETM, we are in. Get ready for a bumpy ride, weather not too good in western Turkey now. I hate Airbus in bad weather!

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A mainly local carrier — Onur Air.

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And soon we are on our way to Izmir ADB. (Video: please watch in HD.)

Finally, almost 24hrs after exiting our Setia Alam house, a warm comfy room greets us at the Izmir Orty Airport Hotel. It’s sub-zero outside, drizzling with howling wind, but who cares.

What a memorable day to start our Turkey adventure!

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13 Responses to “Arrival in Izmir, Western Turkey”

  1. Fairul M Zain says:

    Awesome Doc. Waiting for the rest. All the while I thought you’ve covered Turkey. Curious, dah berapa UNESCO Sites to date? ๐Ÿ™‚

    ps: photos from Nex 6 mmg lawa.

  2. naim says:

    Thanks, Fairul. On the WHS, not so sure, have lost count. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Shehnas says:

    WOWW!!! Your blog is truly amazing!!!! I am planning a 2 weeks trip to Turkey in October as well. Hoping to keep a tab on your Turkey travel! I loveeeee travelling — but may I ask — what do you do for a living if it allows you to travel this much? I would love to work at where you are — if it means that I can afford to travel as much as you do! I have a world map at my work desk area with pins indicating where I have been. I am looking at it right now — and i need a WHILE mmore with alot of funds to reach yours!!! PLEASE SHARE! ๐Ÿ˜€

    Have fun in TURKEY!!! Would be awesome if you could share your tips as I would like to make my trip an independent one as well as to maximise the time and what I see there!

  4. naim says:

    Thanks, Shehnas, I am just a regular guy with a bit of flexible free time. And yes, I have to work to pay for my journeys … and they need not be expensive if you plan properly! Btw we did the Turkey trip Feb. 07-17, very recently.

  5. bubu says:

    Hi there, what do you mean when you hate the airbus during bad weather? Mind to explain? In comparison to say Boeing 737? Sorry, i have developed accute fear of flying after one bad flight on AK many years ago. I am trying to overcome the fear

  6. amirah says:

    Doc, u got nice stories and piccas here in this blog and am using it as ma main reference for upcoming turki trip. Just nak tanya, did u find any difficulty in booking local flights within turki ? In ma case, attempted several times for route kayseri (cappadocia) – izmir via sunexpress, but failed. Any advise ? Tq in advance

  7. naim says:

    Thanks and so sorry for this very late reply — I overlooked your comment. I had no problem booking my flights using credit cards with Pegasus, Atlas and Anadolujet. Didn’t try SunExpress though.

  8. naim says:

    Boeing planes seem to handle turbulence better than Airbus ones, from my experience.

  9. Shafiq says:

    Salam. I really enjoyed your travel in turkey. I’m planning to go there in December with my family for 9 days. Can you share which tour agent you took there? Did you book from KL? Thanks.

  10. naim says:

    Thanks, Shafiq.
    All our travels were independent, D-I-Y, because we wanted freedom.
    We devised our own itineraries — booked our own flights, rooms, trains, rental cars, guides, etc. Thanks to the Internet. ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Shafiq says:

    Thanks. I’m also planning a DIY.
    I’m planning to go to Hierapolis, Pamukkale & Ephesus. Can you share your guides at these places? Really appreciate it.

  12. naim says:

    For those 3 places, we used — Web: http://www.turkeytravelbazaar.com E-Mail: info@turkeytravelbazaar.com
    Excellent service, but could be pricey. Please enquire and negotiate for best price. We based ourselves at Izmir airport hotel for easy transport.

  13. Mark says:

    Amazing pictures! very detailed account. I really hoped I could spend more time in Turkey.

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