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Roger's Trip to Istanbul

copyright Roger Bourke White Jr., copyright February 2005


This week was Lunar New Year week throughout East Asia. It's not a time to be traveling around Korea, unless you like sitting in traffic. I don't like sitting in traffic, but rather than sit on my behind in Suwon for a long week, I decide to sit on my behind on planes and buses in Istanbul, Turkey.

Why Istanbul? Because I've never been to the Asia Minor area before, and Istanbul has a lot of history in it. So, on Monday (11 Feb 05) I hopped on a Turkish Airlines plane and made a non- stop journey across Asia to Turkey.

This was a 12 hour flight -- the same as Seoul to San Francisco. We didn't go great circle route, which surprised me. First we flew to the Beijing area, then followed the Silk Road across western China, zigged north over the Aral Sea, then zigged south over the Caspian Sea, Baku, and Turkey (not over the Black Sea). Why all the zigging and zagging remains a mystery. I'm guessing that if the plane loses engine power, the pilots want to keep it within gliding distance of long-runway airports, but that's just a guess.


The route from Seoul to Istanbul, as shown on the in-flight TV screen. We passed over the Silk Road in China, and Aral Sea in Russia.

Map of Istanbul (big picture)

Conclusions (and tidbits)

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