Ruth and Max at the Natyra e Qete Restaurant & Camping near Berat, Albania.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Berat, Albania.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? South towards Greece.

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Sitting in Istanbul Airport

Writing this note from the boarding gate for our second flight of the day, going from Istanbul, Turkey to Doha, Qatar.

We were up at 5am this morning and by 6am we were on our way to the airport.

Our flight didn't leave until 10:25am, but we were told to get there early because of Covid etc, etc... then of course we sat around and waited for almost two hours for the bag drop to open!

And the airport wasn't at all busy. In fact, the exact opposite. There were four flights leaving all day!

We got there early, and had to sit around only to find out that the WiFi wasn't working. They only have one machine where you have to scan your boarding card to get access, and it was located outside the gate area. Ridiculous in this day and age.

Anyhow, the flight was almost full. I saw maybe six or eight empty seats. Everybody was really good about mask wearing, unlike our easyJet flight from the UK back in October. The only thing we both still find funny (odd? stupid?) are the people who want to rip off their seatbelt and jam themselves into the aisle as soon as the plan lands. Doesn't make any sense to us at all, but obviously we are in the minority.

Other than that, it was an uneventful one hour flight to Istanbul's SAW airport.

We had lots of time to waste before our 5:55pm flight to Doha, Qatar. But we couldn't go past passport control because the bag drop wouldn't open until almost 3:00pm! Oh well.

We finally got that done, and went to go through passport control. Of course our visas expired eight or nine days ago, and sure enough we got sent to immigration. We explained the story, and produced the letter from the doctor but that made no difference at all. He siad the only thing that would matter is if you were held up due to Covid!

Then he said "the fine will be 1,034 lira ($177 CAD, $139 USD) each". Yikes!

But he then explained we don't have to pay it now. In fact, we would only have to pay it if we come back within three months and then it would apply towards residency. Very strange, and we didn't quite get it. His English wasn't the best and he was trying to explain it through Google Translate.

But either way, it doesn't cost us anything right now, and if there are repercussions of any kind we will deal with them the next time we return to Turkey, possibly two years from now.

So we were cleared through passport control and on to the waiting area where we are now.

There are a few more international departures from this airport, but not many.

Here's an airport selfie for you!

Gotta go... we will update you again from Doha, Qatar!

Nice price drop on the Fire HD 10.

And in Canada...


  1. We never get up to deplane until everyone in front is nearly gone. That is a case of hurry up and wait. On your feet!

    1. With the way things are with Covid, you would think that everyone would listen and follow the instructions given by the flight crew but for some reason all that goes out the window within minutes of the announcement. We just patiently waited for those in front and many from behind to get out of the way before we deplaned.

  2. You know how we travel in Latin America, seatbelts come off as the wheels hit the runway, while in taxi mode to the gate people start passing luggage from the overhead bins, and before the door is open the line has formed. I always choose aisle seats as I like to get up and walk around and pester the flight attendants. On landing, I just wait my turn. Same goes with getting on the flight, nobody's going anywhere until we're all seated.

    1. We have noticed that when we have been on flights in Mexico, but it also seems to be that way with many flights we have been on outside of Mexico too. Like you we just wait our turn, we just don't see the huge rush to get off our to stand in line to deplane, especially when you have been asked not too but then again the flight crew don't seem to enforce it either.

  3. Been away and trying to catch up with your posts. Looks like a lot of great adventures and then eye surgery and car accident. Been keeping yourself busy. Enjoy your traveling

    1. Yes, we have had lots of adventures both good and bad, luckily everything has all worked out and yes, we have been keeping ourselves very busy. We are looking forward to our new adventures now. :-)


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