Istanbul... ain't no trip to Cleveland.
Istanbul Travel Blog› entry 1 of 4 › view all entries
That title will only mean something if your a big fan of dry
humor and off the beat Wilson brother films like Bottle Rocket. And wow that is
totally off the subject of this entire trip :))
I hit Istanbul in a huge daze. 40 plus hours of travel by mainly Eastern European train (no sleeper carts on this round) and the last go a 12 hour bus ride from Sophia to Istanbul.
First off to let you guys know if you do come this route of train route into Turkey:
1. Have Euros and Dollars or Lira on hand for your visa. They get really pissed at you (especially bus drivers if you don't and you have to borrow from them and then the people on the bus scowl at you as they wait for you to go get the money to pay for it as they sit crammed in a regular bus to haul them into the middle of Istanbul.
2. You are getting a 90 day visa... be very aware of your date. If you want to know why look at one of my later blogs which I will probably call Deportation or Expulsion or Banishment or Confessions of a Illegal Immigrant. They all sound good... one of them will do.
3. You are going to a massive bus terminal in a part of Istanbul you don't need to worry about. As far as I know all bus companies provide transportation by van to the Taksim Square part of Istanbul. Look at my later blog which I will title Transportation: Ferries, Trams, Busses and Taxis on advice on what to do from there.
So those are the heads up I can give you in coming by bus into Turkey, especially if Istanbul is your first destination.
For me- I didn't have such advice and I didn't think to look it up. I just showed up a city of 17 million, 8 million in city center and no guidebook, map or any idea how the language worked. When our van dropped us off, I was absolutely clueless as to where I was. Having no other options I just grabbed a cab and had him take me to Sultanahmet. I knew to go there and that was about it. I knew the hostels were somewhere near the Aya Sophia and Blue Mosque. My friend Sara was suppose to meet me two days later at one of the hostels called Bahaus.
Of course, the taxi driver took me for a ride.
Well clunking around with my massive bag in tow, my entire life being dragged behind me, I maneuvered around cobbled streets that were not friendly to rolling bags or suitcases.
I guess there is nothing more to say here. I picked Orient Hostel out of a slew of Hostels because it had sturdy beds with comfortable mattresses, a more open and relaxed feel and a brighter room/atmosphere. Later I would find I had made the best decision possible on that street.