Wednesday, April 12, 2006


The bus dropped me on the highway into Istanbul rather than the bus station as I'd been told when I purchased the ticket. I was learning fast that the bus ticket sellers say what is necessary to make a sale. The bus staff, drivers & conductor (guy who hands out drinks & checks tickets), are the bosses. It wasn't a nice introduction to Istanbul traffic.

It felt very odd to be back in Istanbul again. There was a stark difference between it & Urfa. I had gone East over a period of a month but had backtracked in a night. Going East the changes were too slow to appreciate. The Stamboulis appeared to be lighter in skin tone. The headscarf, skull cap & beard were less present. There was even a bit of variation of men's clothing, not every man wore a dark coloured suit. When I went to Taksim, the 'modern' downtown area, to pick up my Kyrgyz visa the liberal side of Turkey was out in force in the Spring sunshine, it was all form fitting tops & multi-coloured outfits. The scene could have been in any large European city.

I stayed at a backpackers which was filled with the sort of traveller that I consider that I am not (at least now), out on the town till late & doing the sites. In the month since I'd left Istanbul tourists had come to town.

Even though the weather was so nice I didn't really want to hang around. I was in town to pick up my passport with a Kyrgyz visa in it & a package of supplies that Freddie had sent. I hadn't intended to leave the Istanbul visit so late & thus the amount of backtracking to be done however I had been hoping that I'd be able collect my Turkmen transit visa. In the end I gave up, leaving town without it. I hope for better fortune when I have another go at it in Tehran.

I cycled 0km

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