38km Yakuplu to Istanbul

A kind friendEntering IstanbulThe garage floor turned out to be a pretty good sleeping spot. We woke up to the sun slowly peeking over the hills of Istanbul, turning the skies pink and lighting up the motorways that awaited us. We rolled off our sleeping mats and headed over to the patisserie across the road for a cup of morning tea and some tasty treats.

We thought we’d picked a chocolate filled pastry but were surprised to find the “chocolate” was actually a black olive tapenade. Quite the wake up call for the taste buds!

After a little chat with our rescuer last night, Yaşar, we headed out to tackle the morning rush hour. This was actually not so bad because we soon hit traffic jams and just rolled down the side of the traffic. Near the airport the road widened out and things started moving again but it wasn’t long before we turned off onto a quieter road and headed for the sea.

Soon we were on a pedestrian path heading for the city centre and what a sight we had. Dozens of ships lined up to come into Istanbul. Fishermen out with their rods in the Marmara sea. Markets displaying fresh produce. Slowly we watched the city unfold in front of us. The minaret spires of the mosques appeared first, then skyscrapers and the bridge across the Bosphorus. Beautiful.

We tracked down our hotel without much trouble at all and collapsed for an afternoon of relaxation before we start the visa rush around the city, trying to get permits for Iran and Pakistan and possibly India.

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    Road notes: We are staying at the Hotel Agan, near the train station and fairly central, on Ebussuut Cad. The rooms are clean and cheery and there are computers to use in the lobby. We are happy. This would be a good street to hunt for hotels on as there are tons here. Getting into Istanbul is hard to give advice for. Just get off the motorway near the airport and head for the sea. If you are lucky, you may get a ferry from the port at Bakirkoy. But once you are on the sea it is not a hard ride in anyway.

    What we spent: 12.75Ytl lunch, 6Ytl groceries, 5.50Ytl breakfast

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