We had a leisurely morning getting organized. I was up late trying to download pictures from yesterday. The hotel internet wasn’t very cooperative. I still am waiting to see if they will download.
Our pickup time was 11:30 AM. Prior to leaving, I chatted with a young American couple from Orlando at breakfast who decided to quit their jobs and take a year off to travel. I remember doing that in my 20’s. No schedule, no plan… just go and let the wind decide the direction. This also may be why people are reassessing their employment choices and are not returning to their old jobs post pandemic.
The ride to the SAM airport (the domestic airport in Istanbul) was about an hour. away The roads are well-maintained with manicured landscaping on either side of the multi-lane highway. There is new construction everywhere, with ultra-modern architecture next to centuries-old mosques. Istanbul is peppered with mosques, supposedly 3,000 in this city of millions. There are Turkish flags everywhere on many buildings. We wondered if it is a display of civic pride or mandated by the government. As it turned out, Turkey’s Independence Day was August 29, so there was much celebration.
When we arrived at the airport, we had no clue what to do, other than knowing our airline and flight number. Pegasus Express is an all digital airline. You put your checked bag on a scale, scan your passport, and a luggage tag is created, which you attach to your bag. You then take it to the unmanned counter, put it on a conveyer belt, and go to a second touch screen kiosk to spit out your boarding pass. There is minimal human contact. It is something I have seen before in other countries but never in the US. I am not sure if it would work because Americans are accustomed to the contact of flight personnel.
We are ready for our one-and-a-half-hour flight.