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Day 4: Balloon flight & cave hotel in Cappadocia

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.

The Artemis Cave Hotel
The Artemis Cave Hotel

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.

Balloons being readied
Balloons being readied

At 6a, we headed to the site where balloons were being readied for flight. After a brief safety explanation of safety procedures, we were airborne with captain Jemal. His maneuvers Continue reading Day 4: Balloon flight & cave hotel in Cappadocia

Day 3: Mount Erciyes & Kayseri

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.

Breakfast at a tiny tea shop, tea for 0.5TL
Breakfast at a tiny tea shop, tea for 0.5TL

Continue reading Day 3: Mount Erciyes & Kayseri

Day 2: Markets, Galata and more of Istanbul

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.

The Grand Market
The 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).

View from the Galata Tower
View from the Galata Tower

We picked up a grilled fish sandwich on the bridge below the Golden Horn – it was fresh no doubt. We didn’t want to spend on an expensive Bosphorus cruise, and found a cheaper option for 12TL for a 2 hour ride. Here are some shots Continue reading Day 2: Markets, Galata and more of Istanbul

Day 1: The old city around Sultanahmet, Istanbul

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.

Hagia Sofia, Sultanahmet
Hagia Sofia, Sultanahmet

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 .

Topkapi Palace, Istanbul

Pictures taken at Topkapi Palace in Istanbul

We started in the Sultanahmet area covering the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sofia and Topkapi Palace – all of which I highly recommend. We purchased the using the Museumkart at 85TL, but didn’t end up using it Continue reading Day 1: The old city around Sultanahmet, Istanbul

Recipe: Pita Pan Pizza (15 mins only)

Egyptian Pita
Egyptian Pita

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?


  • Pita bread (pack of 4)
  • Tandoori or Shredded chicken (or leftover tikkas or other meat)
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Tomato ketchup
  • Sliced onions, capsicum & tomatoes
  • Oregaon, Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Butter


Recipe: Grilled Chicken Salsa Sandwich

This is probably the laziest sandwiches I’ve ever made. Honestly, typing & formatting the entire recipe will take longer than it takes to make it.

The laziest sandwich one could make
The laziest sandwich one could make


  • Shredded some left over grill chicken, and mixed it with mayo, salsa and black pepper.
  • Sliced some lettuce & half an onion.
  • Buttered brown bread on both sides, and assembled as shown. You can add more veggies and cheese as you’d like
  • Put it into the griller for 6-8 mins until it toasted
  • Voila!

First model for my airport diorama.. Yay!

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 🙂

Recipe: Dahi Sev Puri

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.


  • Papdi puri
  • Mashed potatoes (I literally use instant mashed potato)
  • Nylon sev
  • Chopped onions, tomatoes, corriander
  • Chana dal
  • Tamarind chutney
  • Chili chutney (or Maggi Hot & Sweet sauce)
  • Yoghurt (whipped, sweetened)
  • Chat masala, salt
I love it crunchy!
I love it crunchy!


  • Lay the puris on a flat plate and top up ingredients in the mentioned order
  • Garnish with nylon sev and corriander

My FlightDiary: 100 flights via Mumbai

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:

And some stats to go with it:

Total Most flown
170 Flights 66 flights in 2014
42 Airports 100 flights via Mumbai
25 Airlines 44 flights on Singapore Airlines (SQ)
23 Countries 12 times to Singapore
32 Aircraft types 31 flights on Boeing 777

Measure #
Total flown 557,427 km
Average 3279 km, 04:35
Longest BOM↔EWR, 12538 km, 15:30 hrs
Shortest CPH↔SGD, 195 km, 00:45 hrs
Around the world 13.91 times
To the Moon 1.450x
To Mars 0.0100x (need to work on this)

Continue reading My FlightDiary: 100 flights via Mumbai