Tomorrow morning at the crack of dawn we’ll be on our way again, on the 7am ferry across the Marmara Sea to Bandirma. Goodbye Istanbul, a city we’ve slowly come to feel at home in and know pretty well now that we’ve trekked to many of its corners, trying to hunt down those elusive visas for the next part of our journey.
We only had moderate success in our quest. Iran is now certain, thanks to a very pretty piece of paper in our passports. Syria proved to be more complicated as Germany has stopped issuing the letters the Syrians require to grant a visa, making Friedel’s passport rather useless. Foiled by international politics. We will try our luck at the border instead, where we have a decent chance of getting in according to other travellers.
Pakistan was also a no-go as our visa would expire before we get there but with the fighting in the country at the moment, perhaps it is for the best. We may try again for a Pakistan visa in Tehran but we’re also planning an alternative through Central Asia and hoping for an early spring if we need to set a course for the mountain passes of Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan.
All that is far in the future, however. The next few weeks will take us along the coast of Turkey to some of the world’s great archaeological sites and also hopefully to some beautiful deserted beaches. We are also crossing our fingers for good weather along the coast, now that the autumn chill has definitely started to show here in Istanbul. The wooly sweaters and long lycra will be coming out of our bags sooner rather than later!
Before we run onto the boat, here are a couple videos we’ve had hanging around; one of us going up Greece’s Katara Pass and another of the morning traffic coming into Istanbul.