Traveling movie quotes
“Surely you’re not serious!” “I am serious, and don’t call me Shirley.” Can you guess the movie this came from? Do you need a hint? “Flight #136 has had a gate change. It is now arriving in Gate 11……now Gate 12….. Gate 13……… “ So, this is sort of how our entire day went. The day started off benignly enough. We were out the door again bright and early after checking out of our hotel room. Leaving our luggage in the lobby, we set off on foot to get in our last little bit of Greece. We needed more time. A quick walk to meet our bus and we had a morning tour of the Acropolis, Parthenon, Temple of Athena and the new museum. We met up with another couple, then a couple more arrived. The last couple was picked up first, then the next couple was picked up, while we waited at our “gate” to see the sights. Finally, victory!! We have been picked up, but then there were multiple sites where they stopped and picked up more people. One of the couples was from West Virginia, and they stood out!! Could it be the accent? Finally, we were off!! While we had visited the site already on our own, it was nice to have a tour guide with her knowledge to further fill in the gaps of the history surrounding the ancient sites. A quick tour around the city followed as she explained many of the historical buildings, some of which we did not get a chance to visit. (A good excuse to come back). Lastly, the museum which houses so much history, sculpture, vases, and artifacts. It was amazing to see. You could spend an entire day just wandering through the museum. Deciding to walk back to the hotel, we finished the tour and headed out to enjoy our last moments. Lunch in a café by the side of a road where we could watch the people passing by was fun. Soon it was time to get back to the hotel to meet our driver to take us to the airport.
Ahhhh, the airport. In case you did not guess correctly, the quotes above were from the movie Airplane! The first stop was getting our tickets and checking in our luggage. This was one of the most interesting moments in airport traveling we have ever seen. A man and his family were working hard at carrying on a menagerie of toys that were bubble wrapped and taped. These were not small toys, mind you, but what appeared to be large stuffed animals, some a couple feet long and a couple feet high. You could guess the animal, the most obvious was the small rocking horse. After half an hour, the airport staff had had enough, and a very animated and lively argument ensued between the ticket agent and the man. Mediterranean men can be very animated and passionate in their arguments. A supervising ticket agent was standing on a higher shelf arguing over the counter at the other man. Neither was giving an inch. The manager reminded us of Lindy Ruff, the former Buffalo Sabres coach, getting animated and leaning over between the team boxes screaming at the coach for the Ottawa Senators during the 2006 playoffs. Unlike hockey, though, the manager of the ticket agents didn’t get tossed out. The upshot of all of this, of course, was a serious delay in getting our luggage checked in and receiving our boarding passes.
But now, Kathy was fretting about missing the flight. Rushing Dave to the gate, she said, “You can use the bathroom when we find the gate!” Keeping his bladder in check, Dave appeased her and found the gate. He had time as the flight wasn’t scheduled to board for another 30 minutes. Grabbing a quick drink, salad, and some snacks we sat down to wait for our flight. Suddenly, Kathy noticed that the sign at the gate stated that our flight had a new gate! Where is our gate??? The sign just stated, “New gate,” with no indication as to what that gate was going to be. Kathy asked Dave and he said he had not heard any announcements about a gate change for our flight. Others? Sure. But not our flight. Nope, nothing announced, just the enigmatic sign, “New gate.” Time ticked by, soon we were supposed to be boarding. No gate, and no plane at the gate. Dave went to ask the gate agent, but she just said she knew nothing because she did not work for our airline. Getting up, we headed off trying to find some information on our flight. Standing around a signboard in the middle of the airport, along with a bunch of others also in our predicament, we finally saw the sign change from “New Gate” to “Gate A05”. We all rushed to Gate 05 so that we could….wait. There was no plane at this gate either!! Where is our plane? Dave spoke with a couple originally from Turkey, but now living in Sweden (where she is a nurse, in the middle of the pandemic, in Sweden, which did not close, use masks, or vaccinate people!) The couple had an app that showed where our plane was. It was airborne, but would be to Athens in an hour and a half. A little over two hours later, we finally were taking off. Next stop, Istanbul.
We should have said “layover” at the Istanbul airport since it took forever to get through passport control. The lines snaked around 4 times. While we waited the 1.5 hours to get our passports stamped, we talked with a young guy behind us. He was born in Russia, but lives and attends college in the US and has passports for both countries. He was headed to Turkey to meet somebody for business on a yacht. Why can’t we ever be heading to meet someone on a yacht?? Anyway, another hour and a half later, our passports were stamped, and we were officially in Turkey!
Finally with luggage in hand, we headed out to find our driver. Score! We have a ride!! Next stop…….. or should we say journey…was our hotel. We landed on the Asian continent and drove to the European continent. Istanbul lies on two continents. This took approximately 1 hour and 50 minutes driving over a bridge over the Bosporus River to get to the hotel. The driver graciously pointed out the sites, but Kathy was too tired to look. It was amazing that even at midnight, there was bumper to bumper traffic in this city of 18 million people. Finally at the hotel room, or sauna, where the air conditioner did not work, and the temperatures forced both of them to sleep on top of the covers. Morning came way too early!
We had asked the guy who picked us up at the airport what time the tour would pick us up. The time on the paperwork he gave us was blank. At 1 o’clock in the morning, and not getting a hold of anyone to ask, he told us that since the tour was a half-day tour, it would probably start at noon. Kathy’s suggestive powers apparently worked on him because that is precisely the time she had jokingly said she would be ready! Dave happened to ask the front desk clerk after breakfast about us taking the tour today. Good thing he did. Our tour guide was already here to pick us up. The day started out well with a walk through the Grand Bazaar, which is basically a great big outdoor mall, as Dave called it, the Galleria Mall. It has over 4000 little stores which are basically the same stores over and over again. Next stop was the Palace of Topkapi, which houses some amazing artifacts. It is originally the home and office of the sultan. Among the artifacts are items including the walking staff of Moses, bones from the hand and skull from St. John the Baptist, and items from St Joseph and the prophet Muhammed. It even had a sword from David, of Goliath-slaying fame.
Now on the bus heading to our next stop in our journey. See you all soon!!