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The Travel Journal of Jacqui and Lars

 

Turkey - 28 September, 2002

 

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Location Latitude Longitude Elevation

Travel Distance

Start Kayas Bayindir Dam Campsite (near Ankara) N3954.985' E03259.283' 947 meters .
Finish Istanbul (Hyatt Regency Hotel) N4102.449' E02859.345' 83 meters

500 km

Total Leg 3:

4,807 km

Total Leg 2:

2,153 km

Total Leg 1:

3,018 km

Grand Total:

9,978 km

 

Weather: Partly cloudy, occasional rain, cool in the morning and then hot.  Cool at night.

 

 

This is our last day of driving for this trip and it must be one of the longest.  By the end of the day, we will have driven 500 kilometers.  We left our camp site before 8 AM and headed northeast to Istanbul.  The drive is long and uneventful - it is a first class highway that we are driving on.  We stop for about an hour for lunch at a rest stop along the highway.

 

While the group will be staying in a hotel downtown, we are using our points that we have accumulated over the years to stay at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Taksim.  Lotta and Rick have been kind enough to offer to take us straight to our hotel and drop us off on the way to their hotel.  Based on the maps we had, it looked simple.

 

Well, we missed the key turn off and were forced to take the next one.  It wound it's way up a steep narrow two way road with cars parked on both sides.  The truck itself could barely fit through, not even taking into consideration the cars coming from the other direction.  But Lotta did a great job and got us through.  At the top of the hill at a round about we decided to ask a local for the way.  He said that we are near and that it is a short distance straight ahead.

 

Turkey02_CD28_27_web.jpg (74705 bytes)

Well, a bit confusion.  We had pulled into one of the exits on the round about, so carried on straight - what the local meant was carry on straight across the round about.  Well that cost us some time and fun.  We ended up taking a scenic tour of the area and made it to the hotel after a bit of driving here and there just after 4:30 PM (apologies to the rest of the people in the group).  But we must say it was worth it to drive into the Hyatt's main entrance, open the back locker, unload a stack of bags and check into the hotel.

 

Turkey02_CD26_03_web.jpg (73282 bytes)

Well, without saying so, the rooms were nice and we were treated very well.  We settled into our room and then headed out for a bite to eat near Taksim Square.  This is the more modern, business part of Istanbul and is a more happening place, especially at night.  Young people throng the streets and we head to the main pedestrian area where the old trams still run.  The street is lined with fashionable shops and restaurants.  All the food vendors are calling to us to come and eat at their place.  We have certainly left the simple life of Central Asia behind us.  It is almost too much for us - guess this is culture shock!!!

 

We spend some time wandering the streets and checking out some of the stores before having a light dinner.  After some more wandering, we head back to the hotel for our first sleep in a very comfortable bed in months.  And it was blissful.

 

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