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    Wednesday 7 September 2011

    Day One - Destination Seoul

    Yes we are returning to Asia again this year, but we've decided to
    shake things up from the get go. Exciting! Usually we would connect in
    London, but after the pleasant experiences flying Turkish Airlines to
    Istanbul in May, we opted to use them again. Naturally we've joined
    their frequent flyer scheme. Usually our first flight would take us
    out of Dublin at the crack of dawn, but this year our Dublin to
    Istanbul flight departed at 3pm.

    It's a little under four hours flight to Istanbul. If you've never
    been we can't highly recommend it enough. Flying over the city at
    night as we arrived brought back wonderful memories of our city break
    in May. Turkish Airlines is old school in the way of its inflight
    service. All meals and drinks are included. Vodka is free pour! With
    two bar services within 20 minutes we we thinking they were trying to
    get us drunk to compensate for flying us in an older aircraft - we
    didn't have individual media units; the shock. But Vinnie and I where
    so excited about the adventure ahead we must have talked for the
    majority of the journey. It was only when we decided to listen to some
    music and start the reading of the newspapers we had bought that the
    announcement for landing was made. Time literally flies.

    Food wise, the meal served was identical to the last few with
    Turkish. They don't appear to be too adventurous with their vegan
    meals. Yes vegan, we always pick this to avoid the horrible egg dishes
    you could end up by picking vegetarian. The only downside, no desert.
    So we naturally brought our own in addition to fresh milk for our
    tea/coffee. We also brought on two Boots meal deals as a back up.

    The transit from landing to departures was seamless. It was totally
    déjà vu for us. The waiting area is made up of a rather large
    concourse. At one end is a food court whilst at the other are the
    lounges. In the middle are the duty free shops and a replica bazaar.
    We stuffed ourselves on the free Turkish Delights. The nut ones were
    my favourite. Alas no lounge access for us on this trip, so we made do
    with some work tables at the Starbucks to available of the free power
    ports to recharge the phones.

    Not aware of the time, we didn't notice the status for our flight
    change from wait in lounge to closing. Ops. We had to run which was
    not good as I still have this cold. Oddly you have to pass through
    another security area before getting to your gate. We had known this,
    but you would be caught out if you wanted to bring your own
    minerals/water onto the plane. So unlike our last flight, where we
    brought two Boots meals deals on, we brought no food or drink.

    Jetways do not seem to be used much at this airport. We were loaded
    onto buses and taken on a ten minute trip to the airport hangers where
    our second plane was waiting. Departing just after midnight, we face a
    10 hour flight to Seoul, Korea.

    Tomorrow we shall arrive and make our way to our apartment in the city.

    Handy Tips From Today:

    1. Do buy your meal deals in Boots before taking off in Dublin. At
    €3.99 it's the best value. We picked up veggie sushi, vegan sandwiches
    and a smoothie for that price.
    2. You can not take sodas and bottles onto flights departing from
    Istanbul. So don't bother buying them before you board.
    3. Do leave yourself enough time to pass though security at Istanbul
    to avoid that rush.
    4. For free wifi and power, use the tables by Starbucks. The Turkish
    Airlines Lounge wifi overspills and is free with no login screens.

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