The 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.