Intro: Circling Southern Norway With A Side Trip To Turkey
Part 1: Getting To Oslo Via ORD Seminars
Part 2: Exploring Oslo
Part 3: Circling Southern Norway: Kristiansand, Stavanger And Bergen
Part 4: Norway In A Nutshell With A Stopover In Flam
Part 5: Turkey – Exploring Istanbul
Part 6: Turkey – Magical Cappadocia
Part 7: Flying Home In Style
I had anticipated being able to get both of us home on a Lufthansa first class flight via Frankfurt, though wasn’t sure we’d be able to travel on the same plane. Two award seats in first on the same flight can be very hard to come by. This time the planets aligned and I indeed found us space on the brand new 747-800 to Dulles. The one way first class reward redemption using United miles would originate in Kayseri, connect in Istanbul, take us onward to Frankfurt for an overnight, then on to the US and to our final respective destinations home, LAX and SEA in this case.
We boarded the 45 minute shuttle flight to IST, this time in business, and prepared for some layover time in the Turkish lounge. The lounge completely lived up to its reputation and was definitely one of the best I’ve ever been in.
This lounge is huge and it never felt too crowded when we were there. There were many food stations throughout, with lots of delicious food and beverage optionsoptions.
There is a putting green, a movie theater, player piano, pool table and even a large library all within the lounge.
We spent about an hour in the lounge before making our way to the gate to catch our Turkish Airlines flight to Frankfurt. We were again seated in business class, only this plane came with an on board chef for the 3 hour flight!
And the food was pretty good!
We landed in Frankfurt with plans to head into the city for dinner. There is a train that travels into the city right from the airport, but alas fatigue had set in, and we were content to plant at our accommodations for the night, the Frankfurt Airport Hilton Garden Inn. The hotel is literally a five minute walk away from the terminal and is ultra convenient for overnighting in preparation for maximizing time in the First Class Terminal!
When we arrived the next morning we were greeted by our personal assistant (assigned on arrival) and shown around the lounge. I wrote about my first experience in the lounge here. However, it was a much different experiencing it with someone this time!
After a couple of blissful hours, it was time to go. We made sure we had secured our collectible rubber duckies from the shower attendant (at this lounge, one can take a shower OR bubble bath if one so desires…) and then our personal assistant retrieved us and took us down to the private immigration area.
Also waiting for us was our private Mercedes transfer to the airport – via the tarmac!
Our gate wasn’t far, so I asked if we could take a couple laps around to look at the planes.
On arrival, we were escorted via the back entrance, up to the plane and to an empty first class cabin.
We took our assigned seats, 2A and 2K, hoping we might get the private cabin experience on today’s flight. Our limited edition Lufthansa Rimowa amenity kits were waiting for us.
Eventually 1A and 1K were filled by two quiet executive types, so we essentially had the entire back of the cabin to ourselves.
At the urging of our amazing flight attendant, we commandeered rows 2-4 , using our assigned seats for lounging, the seats behind for sleeping, and the middle two for dining.
I was stuffed from over indulging in the lounge beforehand, but who’s gonna say no to caviar?
After one of the best flights I’d ever had, we landed 8 hours later at Dulles Int’l. The purser had requested our onward flight details earlier in the flight and I now knew why. They had just started ground service for first passengers. A van met us at the bottom of the stairs and we were transported to the terminal and escorted through immigration and to our onward gates. A wonderful way to end another wonderful trip!