Countries Visited (not including Turnarounds): Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Brazil, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Great Britain, Greece, Iceland, India, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Latvia, Libya, Lithuania, Malaysia, Malta, Mauritius, Monaco, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, North Korea, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Tanzania, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United States, Vatican City
London | Perth | Sydney | Melbourne
Seatguru - Most Comfy Seats On Any Airline
pprune.org - Pilot's rumour network
Kangaroo with a Sweet Tooth
Kronicles of Kris
The Adventures of Alle Malice
Joel's trek across Asia/Europe in a Hilux
Phil's Wine Site
I Can Has Cheezburger
The Flying Pinto
Girl on Raw
Things Bogans Like
Bobby at Up, Up and a Gay
Straight Guy in the Queer Skies
Skin by Falter
Monday, July 29, 2013
So as some of you have read in post from waaaaay back, I used to do Business Promotions somewhat frequently. This is where you work an event in uniform, sometimes it can be to openly promote the airline, as is the case at Travel Expositions, or an Airshow, but most of the time it is at a sporting event that we sponsor.4 comments
I'm not on the official team, nor do I want to be as there is a lot of ambiguity with the rosters each month. It's nice to do an event, say, once every 2 months, just to give yourself a break from flying. More often than not when flying again after a BP I feel mentally refreshed and eager to work again. However since last November, every month, the airline have been calling and emailing me to work a BP again. Many of the dates have clashed with the exam dates for my diploma course, so I have had to refuse. But slowly I'm starting to pick up events again which is a bit of a nice change. Last month I worked a cricket event in Birmingham - I hadn't been to Birmingham in over 5 years and have friends that live there, so that event was a pleasure to do. This month I worked a soccer event in Istanbul - also a pleasure to do, not only because the other 11 girls were very sweet and enjoyable to be around, but also because I'd never been to Istanbul before. When they offered me the BP, they told me the dates, but not the location, and since it fell within Ramadan here in Dubai, I took the job, hoping to get out of the 'fasting' environment, not realising it was also in a Muslim country. As it turns out I didn't have to worry too much - the laws in Turkey are nothing like the laws in the UAE, and it was great to see tourism thriving there where in the UAE it basically comes to a standstill for the holy month.
We were also assigned a hotel right on Taksim square, and hearing about the recent protests worried a few of the girls. Nothing of note really happened when we where there, pretty much every night after sunset there would be a few protestors shouting in the streets as they converged on Taksim square, but it was all very tame. The amount of police in the square - with water cannons and clad in riot gear on standby - was absolutely immense, you'd have to be pretty brave to stir up trouble.
As much as I wanted to do a ton of sightseeing, in the end I was ultimately there to work, so I wanted to at least see Hagia Sofia (Ayasofya) and the Blue Mosque (Sultan Ahmet) during the trip.
Hagia Sofia is constantly under restoration, not only to make it more structurally sound, but to restore the mosaics that were hidden underneath plaster for over 200 years.
Showing it's wear and tear
This dome is absolutely massive - barely got it in one shot...
The museum's former life as a church, then a mosque, all culminate into the most famous example of Byzantine architecture.
Stained glass windows, I'm not entirely sure if these are currently undergoing restoration or are in need of it.
The Perspiring Column. Apparently if you rotate your thumb inside the hole one full rotation and it comes out damp then all your ailments will disappear. It wasn't damp for me :-(
Ramps to go up to the second level, and there were stairs to make it back down again. If you're headed here anytime soon - BRING GOOD SHOES! Some tourists dared to take on these ramps with kitten heels on...
View from the second level
Other visitors leaving their mark.
Not as crowded on the upper level...
Exterior shot of Ayasofya.
Once we left the Ayasofya we then heard the call to prayer, and after asking around we heard that for the next hour there would not be public access to the Sultan Ahmet mosque. Eventually we did make it there, but chose not to spend too much time there as Iftar was fast approaching.
Exterior shot of Sultan Ahmet mosque.
Courtyard of the mosque.
As you can see I love my roof shots.
The interior of the mosque, and as you can see it's not hard to know why this is known as "The Blue Mosque"
Yep, I had to cover myself as well.
Dusk at the mosque, waiting for Iftar.
It was a shame we didn't get a lot of time to see much of this city, and I know I'd love to come back here on days off. I still managed to fit in a Turkish Hammam (slightly different to the Morrocan Hammam I was used to on layovers to Casablanca and Tunis), tried Turkish ice cream (far too 'gummy' for my tastes, but one to check off the list) and bought more Turkish Delight and Baklava than I know what to do with.