17.08.2011 - 17.08.2011 36 °C
What a day! Today was our most trying day yet! Set the alarm for 5.15am, showered and dressed and were down in reception at 6.00 am ready to go to the airport. Couldn't get to sleep last night and woke up early, worrying we wouldn't get up in time. Reception gave us a breakfast box - a can of juice, a granny smith apple and a huge roll with sausage and cheese on it. Not quite the breakfast we were used to, but it was better than nothing.
Our taxi ride to the airport was a record - 20 minutes. The trip is supposed to take 45 minutes. I guess the time of day and lack of traffic helped, so did the 150 kms an hour that we were doing and I was in the front seat! Checked in at Pegasus Airlines and as it was a low cost carrier, we were only allowed 15 kgs each. Our combined luggage was 44 kilos, so we tried the "we are international passengers" bit, but to no avail. The cost was 5 Turkish Lira per extra kilo, so we had to pay 70 TL which wasn't very much. It was okay. The plane was full and I slept all the way - flight 1 1/4 hours.
On arrival at Izmir at 9.50 am, our hire car was nowhere to be seen, so Phil asked another company and they phoned them and they said they'd be there in 15 minutes. We waited and waited - no car. 10.50 am we phoned again. They said it wouldn't be very long - still no car. At 11.30 am we started to put our bags in a taxi and Fahti arrived - couldn't speak much English, mumbled something and kept using his mobile - but still no car. The taxi drivers found all this going on quite entertaining and Phil finally told Fahti that we were going to the hotel in a taxi and he could drop the car off there later. When we arrived at the hotel, the receptionist spoke very good English and phoned the company and told them what had happened and they agreed to drop the car off at 2.00 pm. We had just started lunch at 1.00 pm when Fahti arrived with the car and wanted passport details etc so Phil told him to come back at 2.00 pm! When he did, he wanted 70 Euros more because we were dropping the car off at Istanbul. Several phone calls later (one to the UK!) And it was agreed we would take the car for 7 days, not 6 and we would only be charged an extra 2 Euros. The car is a white Hyundai, automatic, diesel. The rules are they give you the car empty and we return it empty! Crazy. In Australia, it is the exact opposite - you receive the car full and hand it back full. Makes much more sense to me.
We went for a huge long walk into the city and it was very hot and humid.
Went to the Buyuk Efes and booked in for a night of luxury when we come back to Izmir on 20 August.
Went for a drive in the car, left hand drive, scary to fill it up. Drove for miles before we found a petrol station. We have combined our Turkey clothes into one bag, so we are only dragging one bag around. Walked down town and had a donor wrap and donor atom and a beer and walked home and into bed.
It was a huge day!