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Monday, September 20, 2010

Istanbul - Officially back in Europe

From Goreme, it was a 4 hour bus then a 9 hour night train to reach the Asian side of Istanbul, from there a short skip on a ferry over to the European side and a tram to the hotel.

What a trip - I worked out ive been travelling overland for 36 days - I allready crossed from the African continent to the Asian continent at Aquaba on the Red sea, and at Istanbul from Asia to Europe across the Bosphorus

The Train was a minor nightmare, not because of the standard but because of the company - one of our group picked that moment to get nasty and have a meaningless argument and tensions were running high in the big brother house - (as we've occasionally christened it as even after 3 days we were discussing who would get evicited if this were a show, and analysed those with alliances and those flying under the radar!). Basicaly the group had been kind of clinging on out of politeness the last week or so with some definate factions having formed, although we were aware of some bitching going on, but we had a complete implosion on the last day which was totally unnecessary and it lead to the most awkward final breafast and goodbye ever. Still, luckily we managed to catch up and spend a little more time with those we really wanted to.

So Istanbul - it was love at first sight - its a high impact city, dramaticaly located, with towering minarets, buildings climbing hillsides, surrounded by water. Very cosmopolitan, coming from Egypt and Syria and then easing back slightly into Western laid backness in Goreme, hitting Istanbul we totally came back to a world class modern city environment. A joy to travel around, thriving with smart (and very attractive!) people, trendy cafes and boutiuque shops. You realise how much you miss those things when you come back to them after a period of absence! Ill definately be back to see more of Turkey at some point. Photo wise I'll be posting a couple of slideshows in the next couple of days of the main sights.

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