After a comfortable night, we woke up to the site of the shipping port on the Bosphorus Strait. It was a hive of activity and explained some of the noise we heard throughout the night. Around the hotel it was pretty much all industrial aside from a supermarket and a few independent shops, therefore not much opportunity for exploration.
When we went down for breakfast we were presented with a red carnation by the meeter and greeter, which I thought was a lovely touch. Breakfast was quite the feast, and as hotel breakfasts go was the best we've encountered on our travels. Up one side were jars of herbs for herbal tea, and a large urn of fruit, herb and leaf infused water. A selection of cereals,fruits, nuts and seeds, dried figs and honey comb. and real yoghurt. Warm pastries, lots of different cheeses, salad with the proper tomatoes, olives of all shapes and sizes, some stuffed others not. Hot plates with boiled and scrambled eggs, sautéed vegetables and cheese sandwiches. Strong Turkish coffee on tap to wash all that lovely food down. I stuck with the camomile tea which was perfect.
After consuming a large amount of deliciousness we need to work it off with a brisk lie down. As we were being collected at 1800hours, we were allowed the room until then, for which we were very grateful. After our substantial breakfast lunch was a squeeze but being the heroes we are, we managed it. It was a light lunch but still three courses. A quick shower and a quick repack of our meagre belongings and we headed back down to wait for the mini bus. Although it was due at 1800hours it arrived at 16.45, being the super organised people we are we were ready thank God because the driver was. ot waiting around for anyone. As for the rest of the people who were on the bus the previous night I'm really not sure as there were only 5 of us on the bus. We were fortunate to be with a lovely young lady from Kosovo, who had also missed her connecting flight home from visiting her sister in Sweden. This was the first time she'd travelled solo as she had travelled out to Sweden with her sister and brother-in-law. We took her with us through the special assistance and into the departure area making the whole thing a lot easier altogether. The boarding gates for our flights weren't being displayed until 1945 so when it came time we were horrified to discover that her flight home had been cancelled. Bless her, that was the last thing she needed!! We went to customer services and they confirmed the flight was indeed cancelled and I assume they were putting her up in a hotel again over night. I hope she is ok, last seen heading off with a shed load of other passengers.
Our own boarding was hassle free and the flight just 4 hours. We were 'blessed' to have a family of 3 children behind us and they were seat kickers. The joys of travel! We were met off the plane by the assistance crew again. As we made our way towards the arrivals there was a cleaner squat in the middle of the rolling walkway with a cleaning cloth in each hand. Not moving himself, he just held the cloths on the bottom of rolling walkway cleaning it with minimal effort. I'm impressed with his thinking, work smarter, not harder. We went to get our visa, and then onwards to pick up Mildred and the flawed one. Mildred survived the flight beautifully, the flawed one not so well. We are now the proud owners of a rucksack with no top handle, a knotted strap and another strap that has parted company with the bag. Add to that a split zip on the front 'wet' pocket and basically it's knackered. As i said, Mildred was fine. Hurrah!
Through customs by 0200hrs to be met by our lovely friends who were kindly putting us up for the next few days, and showing us around Bahrain. Its fair to say Bed was very welcome indeed by that time , and I think we were asleep before our heads hit the pillow.
Much love, Flairey. X