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Saturday 11 Feb 2023
Istanbul, Turkey

Flight cancellations...but maybe that's a good thing!

My flight from Dublin was originally supposed to leave on February the 9th at 11am. I was all set to get up on February the 9th at 4 AM to make the flight. Around 6 PM the day before  I got an email from Turkish airlines saying that my flight was cancelled due to bad weather!! Talk about last minute.com!!

Poor Turkey was having a tough time given that they just had a terrible earthquake on the east side of the country and having blizzards on the west side where Istanbul is situated. 

What followed were many hours of contacting Turkish airline support to try to get my flights rearranged. Eventually I managed to get the flights changed to leave on February 10th but with a 30 hour layover in Istanbul! Ouch! This was a change from my original flight with a TWO hour layover. 

On the upside I was still going to be able to make my flight to Siargo to do my wing foiling lessons, just that I'd literally have 6 hours to rest from landing in Cebu to taking the onward flight to Siargo. This was after having a 13 hour flight from Istanbul!

The downside being that I was going to lose 3 days of the start of my holiday and also I was going to lose the 3 hotel bookings I had already made for Cebu. Granted this time was really just to aid in getting over jetlag before flying to Siargo, but still it would have been nice to see a bit of Cebu City as it has a lot of colonial history.

Cue lots more panic to get my hotel bookings changed to a different date even though they were non-refundable bookings I didn't hold out for much hope. I have to admit the guys at trip.com did an outstanding job contacting the hotel on my behalf and we eventually managed to rearrange the three hotel bookings to the end of February so not all was lost and I didn't have to worry about contacting my travel insurance so a silver lining for every cloud.

Predictably it wasn't going to be that easy and it turned out that Turkish Airlines actually deleted all my pre-booked aisle seats which I had paid €80 for so several more hours on the phone to try to get those back. Lots of fun on my first couple of days preparing for the trip!

Nice freebie!
Nice freebie!

Every negative seems to have a positive on this trip and I discovered that I would be eligible to stay in a hotel for the 30 hour layover so that was pretty good.

Though the flight from Dublin to Istanbul was great and the food was very good when I arrived there was around 6 hours of trying to get through customs and also trying to find where my bag was and then also trying to find where I had to go to arrange the hotel! I eventually checked into the hotel at 2am Turkish time!

Jaysis!

Istanbul from the...
Istanbul from the...

So here I am in a 5-star Hilton hotel overlooking a fairly remote area of Istanbul far from the city centre. The free breakfast, lunch and dinner and transport to/fro the airport do make it a nice experience though. I actually think I overate and overcaffeinated myself during breakfast Sealed

The irony of all of this is that I would have never made the original flight because I was literally packing until the last minute even though I was given an extra 2 days after the cancellation so I think it must have been fate!

Mosque at sunset
Mosque at sunset

Anyway, I think it's best that I just relax around the hotel today in anticipation of the 13 hour flight and then I have a 24 hour layover in Istanbul on the return leg so I'll do a tour of Istanbul then instead.

There is some ninja suitcase packing that I need to sort out too because I had to just throw everything into the bag once the taxi arrived outside the door in Dublin Yell

 

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Philippines 2023

Travel blog by peterforan

Getting saturated in tropical rain on scooter

Getting saturated in tropical rain on scooter


Philippines has been on my must-do list for a while now, particularly as everyone was gushing about it while I was in Indonesia. This trip was supposed to have been done around 2018, but delays and then Covid hampered things a tad!

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Dublin, Ireland

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    Mosque at sunset
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    Istanbul from the Marriot 14th floor
  • Nice freebie!

    Istanbul

    Turkey

    Nice freebie!