After a 125 km drive from Kayseri to Cappadocia, we had one of the most beautiful hotels I’ve ever stayed at. Of course, because I never lived in a cave before.
On enquiring about the ballooon flight, we were told that no flights were being operated on account of weather. We had almost given up, but something made us step in to a travel shop. We were more than delighted to learn that flights were being operated, but in an equal dilemma about spending €100. But we realized it was now or never and booked ourselves. The rest was beyond imagination.
After 2 days in Istanbul, we were now headed to Kayseri. Being on a budget trip, we took a taxi to Taksim around 3am to jump on the Havatas airport shuttle to Istanbul Sabiha airport. Lucky for us, the Pegasus flight to Kayseri was light and I got an entire row to stretch out. Our hotel was booked in Cappadocia and we didn’t want to carry our backpacks with us, so we rented a car at the airport. It was a pleasure driving through the scenic passes.
Traveling in the low season, we carried the risk of bad weather. While our 1st day in Istanbul was nice and sunny, day 2 was forecasted cloudy for most of the part. We thought of using the time indoors at the 500 year old Grand Market.
Since we didn’t want to leave anything to the last day, we headed to the Galata Tower. At a 25TL entrance fee, it was a bit hyped (locals pays 5TL).
We landed at Istanbul SAW around midnight and were at our hotel in Yenikapi by 230a. After a good night’s sleep and a not so good breakfast (only to realize after a week that this was the best), we set out to explore Istanbul.
First up, we purchased a Turkcell SIM Card that cost us around 55TL and for another 10TL gave us 1GB data for a week. Data, together with the Trafi app, was a life saver when wandering the streets. We also topped up the Istanbulkart for discounted trips on public transport at 2.15TL per trip, irrespective of the distance. It works with bus, tram, metro, ferry & cable car .
Dubai is all about options & variety. But in this abundance, I’ve struggled to find freshly baked pizza bases. You will find the frozen ones, but I’m not a fan. In the bakery section, what came closest was the flat, Egyptian pita bread. My only worry was if it would stand another round of baking or end up like a crisp tortilla. But how would I know without trying?
Every time I traveled, I saw over-priced miniature aircraft in in-flight magazines. Then one day I saw pictures of a diorama airport on Instagram and then I realized why they must’ve coined the tag #aviationporn. There was a huge community building model airports. Wondering where they got their models, I checked eBay and Amazon to find that there are a few manufacturers and tons of sellers. I wasted no time in ordering in my very first model – the majestic A380 that Singapore Airlines was First to Fly.
The next step was to go about designing the airport itself. Downloading foils from the internet was easy. But there was other detailing that required craft-work, and I started off with chunk-sized PoCs. The very first was for the jetways. Me & my brother used to save bellowed plastic straws for this when we were kids. I got a back of straws to re-create them and what turned out wasn’t very polished. Next was the ground equipment, but I soon realized that I had to use thicker paper. I had some card paper that came with laundered clothes which I used to create a hangar – and that turned out well.
I’ve set aside a monthly budget to add a few each month and slowly expand my airport. You’ll see a few good pictures under the Hobbies/Diorama category. Really excited 🙂
I love my sev puri crunchy. The trick I learned from my regular bhaiya was to add a layer of sev right after the potatoes so keep the base crunchy, and avoid sogginess once the chutney’s are added. Hope you enjoy it. Takes no more than 15 minutes to prepare.
Mashed potatoes (I literally use instant mashed potato)
Chopped onions, tomatoes, corriander
Chili chutney (or Maggi Hot & Sweet sauce)
Yoghurt (whipped, sweetened)
Chat masala, salt
Lay the puris on a flat plate and top up ingredients in the mentioned order
Business travel is very boring. But along the way, you need to find ways to keep it exciting. Haynes introduced me to FlightDiary which has helped me keep track of travel and analyze it. Day before, I took my 100th flight via Mumbai from a total of 170. Here is how my flight-diary looks now: