At some point in everyone’s life they should be able to say “I have a one way ticket to Istanbul”. I greatly enjoyed saying this as often as possible while it was the case.
We flew into Istanbul on Etihad. It was comparatively comfortable and the nice air hostess who somehow thought that we were gold members and gave us fast custom’s passes was fantastic.
There has been something of a discussion/disagreement/feud over our luggage. I maintain that if you are going travelling or two years and for much of that you anticipate living in a van and are also not intending to spend any money, it makes perfect sense to bring along a few creature comforts. The Ginger maintains that bringing anything other than your climbing shoes/harness/quickdraws/belay device and a rope is not only difficult (in terms of physically carrying things around) but also somehow morally reprehensible. Needless to say we arrived with quite a bit of luggage.
So, turtle-like, we made our way by train to the relevant station and then after an obligatory snack stop and meeting a variety of colourful characters, all of whom wanted to provide us with clear and concise directions to nowhere, we set off for our hosts home. As I learnt later on the return journey it is about a kilometre along a nice flat footpath to and from the train station. We somehow turned this into a 90 minute epic adventure involving a number of staircases and confusing conversations with security guards. I also took the opportunity to give a lost trolley a new purpose in life and stuck our packs in there to push. I loved that trolley.
At last we arrived at the relevant apartment building and the extremely nice building maintenance/manager guy let us leave our belongings with him while we went in search of a well earned coffee. Welcome to Turkey.