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24 Hours in Istanbul

This is part ten of my travel series to South Africa. For the series so far, please see below:

Traveling to South Africa – South African Airways and Federal Air
Singita Ebony – The Lodge
Singita Ebony – Day to Night
Singita Sweni – The Lodge
Singita Sweni – Day to Night
Cape Grace
Cape Town – The Peninsula Tour and The Boat House
Cape Town – City and Winelands Tour
Cape Town – V&A Waterfront, Test Kitchen, Fork and Table Mountain
24 Hours in Istanbul

On the way home to San Francisco from Cape Town, we ended up having about a 24 hour layover in Istanbul. Somehow after we booked our trip, we got it into our heads that our layover was only a few hours, and thus of course didn’t book a hotel in the city. By the time we were in Africa however, I realized that we had an overnight and quickly booked us a room and jotted down a few recommended sights in Istanbul. Our overnight ended up being the ideal plan – it was great to break up the long travel time back, and plus we got to dip our toes into a new country!

So on the morning of our flight from Cape Town, we headed to the airport and got ready to board our plane.

By the way – if you are checking any baggage, I’d highly recommend that you have it plastic wrapped. Everybody from the concierge to the airline staff were recommending this step.

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And then we boarded our plane! It was the first time on Turkish Air for both me and Mr. Feather.

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Thought this was a nice touch – flowers near the entrance on the plane while we were boarding.

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Our seats. Turkish flies a two class plane from Cape Town to Istanbul. This was their business/first equivalent.

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The seats were lie flat and they offered turn down service.

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Decent sized personal on board entertainment screen.

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We were quite happy with the Turkish Air seats – they were your basic business lie flat and while not brand new, they were definitely newer/in better shape than those on SAA.

The service was also quite good – more on the efficient Lufthansa “How can we solve this problem side”, versus the Cathay/Singapore “How can we make your day better” attitude. I like both equally so was happy.

Where Turkish really excelled however was the food. They had some great service flairs, like clearly outlining in a folder the food options for the different segments of the flight.

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What I also really liked was the check off system for breakfast – so instead of an attendant coming around and asking for your breakfast order, you simply filled out this card before going to sleep.

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The Cape Town to Istanbul flight has about an hour stop in Johannesburg (you don’t deplane). During that flight, we were served small sandwiches, a sweet nutty tart, and drinks. Continue Reading