According to the promise I made to my sons to travel by air to Europe and also due to the arrival of the Schengen visa cancellation date, the plan of this family trip was canceled in 1 week.
For this purpose, I bought round trip tickets from Tehran to Switzerland from Pegasus plane for 4 people on the round trip and for 10 days for a total amount of 650 euros.
In addition, we also took the PCR test for COVID-19 from Keyvan Laboratory in Abbas Abad Street, Waliasr Intersection. We asked several airlines and they confirmed this laboratory.
On Friday at 12:00 PM, we went to Imam Khomeini Airport with Snap. The gate opened at 2 in the morning and we went to the gate to get our flight tickets.
(Unfortunately, Online Checking at Imam Khomeini Airport is not acceptable for all flights).
The Pegasus flight attendant started looking at our visas and asking strange questions about residence and student visas, and he actually asked us, what is the purpose of your trip in this situation of Corona?! And he said that in this situation, tourist travel is not justified.
In fact, they said that you will probably not be allowed to fly with a type C visa. After waiting for a while and searching in the computer system on his desk, he said: “There is nothing written in the bulletin about the possibility of entering Schengen with a type C visa, and he should inquire from the destination airport.”
So he started taking pictures of our visas with his mobile phone and kicked us out of the queue.
He sent the pictures and we waited for the result.
There were breathing moments, I looked at the children’s faces and saw worry and despair in their faces, but I did not lose my hope in God and continued to wait.
Because I had left the purchase of tickets with this reasonable price and limited time to God, and indeed God himself prepared the preparations for this trip for us. As we decide to travel in a few days, no one really goes to the city!!!
After about 10 to 15 minutes, he came back and said, do you have a corona test with you? I gave a positive answer and he took the tests and took them with him.
A few minutes later, he came back and disappointedly said that the trip is unimpeded and Basel Airport in Switzerland has approved you and directed us to the gate counter.
After getting the flight cards and handing over the luggage, we went to the passport control.
Of course, there was another stress before this avalanche. I knew it was necessary to say that it is necessary for the experience of others:
I had about 35 kilos of 1st grade pistachios for a friend in Europe as a souvenir, and right at the entrance door, the customs officer who was not behind the Xray machine immediately noticed the pistachios and quickly said how many of you are there??
I also said that there are 4 of us and I immediately asked them, isn’t 10 kilos of pistachios allowed per person?
They said in a harsh tone, who gave you this information?? I also quickly opened the joke and said that profit-seeking sellers give this information for their personal benefit and… In short, I was able to pass that stage with a smile and a plea.
Before going to the passport control, we paid the exit fees through the built-in kiosks (National Bank terminals, similar to Gashless devices).
After paying for the device, he announced that there is no need to provide a printout of the device at the passport police and they will be informed of our deposit online.
Since every new system has its own punishments, we stood in line several times and reached the passport officer and he said that your payment is not in the system yet and you have to wait 15 minutes and we went back to the line again!!!!
Finally, after inserting the exit stamp, we entered the transit hall and breathed a sigh of relief after this intense stress.
Finally, we boarded the plane at 4 am and flew to Sabiha Airport in Istanbul.
We arrived at Istanbul Sabiha Airport at 7:00 AM and had a transit time of about 4 hours.
During this time, we had breakfast in a cafe.
At 9:30, the departure gate information appeared on the departure flight monitor, and gate 302A, which was on the ground floor, opened to Basel.
The flight time from Tehran to Istanbul is 3:20 minutes and from Istanbul to Basel (Swiss airport) is 3:10 minutes.
Fortunately, we happened to be the first in front of the gate and gradually the passengers lined up behind us.
The passport control officer saw our visas again like in Iran and said that you cannot travel to Europe, and what is the purpose of your trip?!!
I explained the situation to them and said that Switzerland had been inquired about us in Tehran and the result was positive.
Eshen’s story, when Ingar understood what he should do, he started taking pictures of our visas and asking for the address of our place of residence in Europe, and most importantly, taking the Covid test sheets that should not be more than 72 hours old.
The other passengers were too cold. Finally, after all our apprehension and delay and the entire line of passengers, he allowed us to leave Turkey.
Finally, we boarded the plane from Istanbul to Basel.
During the flight and above the sky of Austria, the weather got a little bad, so we had to fasten our seat belts, but thankfully, there was no serious problem.
At 12 noon, we finally arrived at the Swiss airport.
There was social distancing at Basel airport and everyone was lined up in a line with a long distance and a covid test sheet.
Again, at the passport control there, the sensitivity increased on us and we were delayed until we finally entered Europe.
The customs officer there immediately asked me, do you have anything forbidden that you want to declare? And he immediately said, “Don’t you have a cigarette with you?”
As I had experience and knew that I should be honest with them, I said why, but as much as allowed.
He shook his head as a sign of satisfaction and approval and said, “What else?” I said that I brought some nuts and pistachios as souvenirs.
Of course, I think that he had seen the cargo in the machine when he left the plane and showed us to see what we would answer him. As far as he could see, I answered honestly without stress and at the same time calmly, he told us to send it and he didn’t ask for our loads at all.
At the airport, I had rented a car for 10 days, and we went to pick it up. Unfortunately, due to Corona and the number of people with me, which was 4 people, and of course, the problem with my credit card gave me the excuse that you should get a big car instead of 120. I should have paid 400 euros. I also argued with him and finally we returned empty handed.
I had to call a friend to pick us up from the airport.
I explained about this airport before in the Basel Airport post.
By looking at the photo, you can see that on one side of the car fence are French license plates and on the other side are Swiss license plates.
Since I really leave things to God, I later realized that if I had bought a car, I would not have been able to travel in Europe due to the quarantine during my trip to Europe, especially France, and I would have had to pay for parking for 10 days. I was paying without using it.
In France, stores open from 10 am to 12 pm and from 2 pm to 6 pm. Anyone who was on the street after 18:00 was fined. (the person was fined, not the car)
For example, a car with 4 passengers would be fined.
In fact, it was like Japan, after 6 o’clock the country shuts down and there was no one in the city and it was very precise.
In the same way, we went around a few French cities, such as Dole, Dijon, etc., until we got closer to the return day.
We realized that we have to have a 72-hour corona test to return. We were looking to see where we should take the test, when I saw that the pharmacy near our place of residence had written Covid test on the glass.
We went there and handed over the passports (we had heard that there is a free corona test in the nearby big city). A lady who was wearing special clothes for the test came and asked who is going to take the test first. The lady and my little son went with them and returned after a few minutes after taking the test.
The pharmacy operator said that you have to pay 35 euros per person, which is 140 euros for 4 people.
I told them that we are tourists and this figure is too much for us, and we also have travel insurance.
He said to see the insurance, I showed the insurance policy and he said that we will not get out of this, pay us and go to Iran and get the money back from them.
I immediately called the insurance company and they said, as usual with all insurance companies, that the corona test is not covered, and if you are hospitalized due to illness and they take a test at the hospital, we will pay, but we do not pay for the trip, and as That was expected, “Insurance did not support !!!! “.
I almost got the morals of foreigners and said that we will not give the others tests and cancel the tests of my wife and little son too!!!
He said I can’t and I opened the test kit.
A rare thing happened at that moment, the lady who saw our insistence started calling their social insurance. Suppose, for example, he called social security and explained our conditions and said that the tourists came to take a corona test to return to their country, and they say that they cannot pay for it.
To my surprise, the insurance company said to do their work for free, we will deposit the money to the pharmacy account.
I said to myself, look how they respect the tourist in a foreign country and cover a foreigner with a phone call without any administrative bureaucracy by the insurance company!!
In short, my son and I went and took the test and returned home with the test papers.
The same night, French television showed Mr. Macron and he said that France will be quarantined after tomorrow and all borders will be closed.
I mean, if I had a ticket for a few more days, or even if I canceled my ticket or postponed it, I would be a guest of the French government and I would actually be stuck there!!!
Apart from the joke, during the Corona period, we went to Europe with a tourist visa and came back to Iran, and the doors of Europe were closed because of the cold.
God bless you until the next trip.