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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.


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


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


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


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


Decent sized personal on board entertainment screen.


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.


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.


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