… it’s all down to CNN that I spent my Christmas in Tbilisi. While I visited Kraków the year before over Christmas CNN showed a small travel trailer about Tbilisi and I knew straight away that 2018’s Christmas I will be spending there.
So soon the flights were open for booking I booked my flights, 19th of January … and the hotel I booked 2 weeks prior to that with Booking.com . I knew in my heart that Tbilisi was going to be one of my best travel adventures straight away I watch that trailer and it surely did.
I booked my flights with Turkish Airlines, one of my favorite airlines … have a couple. And there was a couple of departure changes that wasn’t hassle-free, especially to find the right phone number. Finally, I went for their Danish customer service number and we got there in the end.
Because I had my take off the Saturday before Christmas I thought that Copenhagen Airport was going to be very busy, so I gave myself plenty of time and was at the airport nearly 3 hours before the departure. But it was very quiet, even if it took about 30 min before I was checked in. Turkish Airlines check was open, but there was already a queue and it wasn’t really moving, all because of big family check-ins and loads of luggage. Hate queueing for check-in. Love when I can drop off my luggage and scan it myself. Think it took about 30 min and the security check-in area was nearly empty and Kastrup Airport has the most efficient security check of all airports in the world.
So plenty of time for relaxing, eating, shopping and window shopping on the other side. I went for it all because my flight was 1,5 hour delayed.
I had my sandwich and coffee at the Lagkagehuset, my waterhole at Kastrup Airport. They had great deals in their Tax-Free for perfumes, so I fell for that. Bought for my driver in Tbilisi and the room maids. I window shopped and I notice that YSL had opened their shop.
Kastrup Airport have been doing changes and refurbishment to both their terminal for years now and it has been a bit messy, but now more or less done and it truly has made the airport more comfortable and accessible. A lot more spacious and of course more offers to fall for.
There was a fantastic choir that entertained all us passengers with Christmas songs. A very nice touch!!!
Turkish Airways offers 30-kilo luggage allowance on their flights from most airports. They have very good leg space on all their planes and the food is very good. Very friendly and helpful flight crews … and their hand lotion on the toilets are so dreamy and creamy, have looked for it in Istanbul.
There no panic for me in Istanbul, because when we landed we were quickly dealt with for our connecting flights and originally I had 3 hours at Istanbul airport, so I had still a good margin to my next flight. The only thing I hate about Istanbul airport is that it’s so big and the walking distance to the gates are endless. Especially between my return flights – 25 min walk between gates.
My flight from Istanbul to Tbilisi took off on time and they served a very tasty breakfast, 2 hours flight. But there were problems in Tbilisi when we were going to land, too foggy … so we were up there for nearly 75 min before the captain could set down the plane.
The Shota Rustaveli Tbilisi International Airport is quite new … the old one was built in 1952 and the new 1990. The passenger traffic has tripled between 2009 and 2016, so Tbilisi is on the destination map those days.
My driver, Christoper was waiting for me … and I arrived at my hotel about 20 min later, not much traffic 7am. Ones again I used Getransfer.com and I booked all my “car needs” over Gettransfer with Christoper in advance. The thing with taxis in Tbilisi is that you have to agree on the fare with the driver before you get into the car, they don’t have taximeters, and not all taxi drivers talk good English.
Returning home Christoper picked me up 03.30am, once again no traffic. Had to wait about 30 min for check-in to open up and I was first!
There was loads of showing passport and boarding card at the airport, but there was no need to take the tablet or laptop out from the cabin luggage and neither the little plastic bag with all the 100mls. I bought myself a new “camera bag” because my Tokyo bag is on its last leg, Robin Ruth’s souvenir bags are perfect for Oscar and me. But her bags with pocket on the outside is harder and harder to find. So I felt that maybe it will be my last chance to get a bag.
I should have bought a bottle of “Chacha” but forgotten. Good excuse for returning in a near future. Even if it was strong … it tasted good and my supermarket has loads of Schweppes Indian Tonic to mix it with.
Flight departure on time … landed on time, had to walk miles between my flights …. landed on a 100th gate and my Kastrup flight was at 702. Next time I will ask for special assistance.
Landed at Kastrup in time, but there was something going on because we had to show our passports so soon we got off the plane at the gate. We got the information before that if we didn’t have valid ID-papers, we wouldn’t get off the flight. I made it through.
Was in my apartment 2pm. I had been on my way home for a total of 14,5 hours … my “sorry ass” was crying during the 3 hours from Istanbul, but I would do it again tomorrow.
“Walking through airports with pounds of luggage – that’s a good workout.”