This is the last post of my travels in getting to Bahrain. Soon I will finally start posting about what is going on here.
After about a day and a half in Naples, it was time to finally make the trip to Bahrain. There are no straight flights here, so it was a trip through Istanbul (Constantinople). Now, not to sound like a typical American, but it was very weird to get on a plane and being the minority. Not in color, but religion, citizenship, language, everything. It was very humbling experience. I was obviously not as nervous on this flight as I had been on the others. I was just along for the ride.
The Naples International Airport was…different. Fighting with the guy about my overweight bags (and the fact I had 3 to check in) was difficult as he did not speak much English and was in training. Getting through the airport was fun as I went through what seemed liked the ENTIRE airport to get to the gate. Again, the metal detector people wanted to check out my camera gear. And I didn’t have to take my shoes off.
Then it was time to wait. Waiting and waiting. The plane does not come to the gate. You have to wait for a bus to come which loads everyone up and takes them out to the plane. No jetway or anything, we all loaded on the air stairs and in a light drizzle.
Turkish airlines was pretty great. Unlike Lufthansa, where I could kind of make out the German announcements, I could not make ANY sense of language they were speaking on the plane. Even the English. HAHA. They probably realized there were three of us who only spoke English on the plane. The food was pretty horrible. I think they took a tin can and somehow created some meat thing and called it food.
Italy is a really beautiful, crammed in country and although I did not get to see much of it from the ground, it looks beautiful flying over. Maybe everywhere does. Much of the flight was over the ocean, and having taken off in the early afternoon the ocean was gorgeous. A little over 2 hours of an uneventful flight and I was in Turkey. I got another stamp on the passport. Pretty cool.
The Istanbul airport is very interesting. I don’t know where we were going (yes, I had looked up the airport map the night before), but we parked far away from the plane. As we were parking, I looked out and we were in traffic! Not plane traffic, we were waiting for the tugs and cars in order to get moving. Then we joined the traffic lane! HAHA. Once parked, we unloaded via the air stairs again and up onto the bus.
So, this time I was hearded into a small entry way where four other buses full of planes unloaded as well. There was one lane for metal detector and lot of people. This took forever to get through, then onto find my gate. This was a regular gate with a jetway and soon I was loaded and ready to go. The Istanbul airport was very impressive inside. It almost seemed like it was brand new! This was the first time I saw a lot of men wearing Thawbs and women in Burkhas. It was a quick reality check that I was in a different country. That was until I started walking to my gate and saw a large Victoria’s Secret store in the middle of the airport. Yes. In the airport. I kind of laughed and figured they sold bags or perfume, or other items. Nope, full assortment of panties and bras and everything there. This was a bit of a shock to me, but again, typical American that I would think that.
This flight was a little over 3 hours and pretty uneventful. The food was better on this flight, and the people even more interesting. The flight was going to Bahrain, then onto Murkat, Oman. Again, the seat was tiny and I could not fit my laptop comfortably. However, they had The Godfather on the IFE!!! WOOHOO!!! WIN! The movie thankfully lasted about the whole flight and I got some sleep. I lost another hour of time, and landed in Bahrain at about 11 pm.
As soon as the plane came to a stop, the ice cold A/C started blowing through the plane. I did not get the real heat until I stepped outside. It was about 93 degrees and humid. Very humid. It felt like I was about 10 pounds heavier and breathing was difficult.
I did not have any expectations about what Bahrain would look like. It was not exactly what I had expected, but it was also exceeded my expectations. There are billboards all over the place, most are electronic. Many buildings, including the Bahrain World Trade Center building which is powered by large wind turbines in the middle of the two towers. I quickly got to my hotel and went to my room, a large suite which was very impressive. I had to work the next morning so off to sleep it was.
That wraps up my trip out here. Not many pictures on this leg, due to time and not being able to get my camera out, coupled with my phone dying. More pics to come for sure!