We saw the Mediterranean yesterday as we arrived into Istanbul – We are officially on the continent of Europe despite still being in Turkey! Everything feels European and so, unfortunately, do the prices! Filling the petrol tank is now $60 as opposed to $5 in Iran! And there are bars and alcohol which always adds to our daily budget…!
Its really quite here in Istanbul at the moment – it seems the recent bombs and shootings are keeping people away…funny that…not us though! We will probably spend another night or two here before heading in to Bulgaria. It feels like the challenging part of the trip is over and now the main challenge will be not to spend too much money… however today I left $60 in the pocket of my trousers and had them washed and now the money has disappeared… not very happy about that…
We spent a few days getting here through Turkey from Iran. It was nice to spend some nights in random little towns in Turkey and see how the locals live. We rode down to Cappadocia for the night which are unusual rock formations which were once used as houses. It was interesting but also very touristy which was a first in a long time for us. In retrospect I probably would have preferred another night in a no name town watching men play with their worry beads and drink tea!
We did a mammoth 750 km day to get to Istanbul from Cappadocia and we hope the last of long days like that. It was pretty boring… 8 hours of helmet time isnt good for anyone! I usually find reoccurring songs playing in my head… ‘We’re on a road to nowhere” by the Proclaimers plays on long straight boring highways (featured especially on the road from Adelaide to Darwin), “Here comes the rain again” by the Eurythmics (which I think will play more the closer to England we get),”I can see clearly now” by Jimmy Cliff (which will probably never get a hear in in England!), “Go West” by the Pet Shop Boys has been a big hit lately along with “The only way is Up” by Yazz which was big in the last half of India and will feature more from here on. Rage against the Machines “Fuck you I wont do what you tell me” was playing a lot for some reason as we were riding through Iran… I think the Iranians (especially the women) need a little of that anger and rebellion in their blood… On particularly long days I do tend to have a little Prince concerts in my helmet and sing (and dance) to all the Prince songs I know…thankfully Dean cant hear me 🙂
Its time to now go and walk around this city a bit and see whats around. We are both pretty tired (and bad) at being tourists so it will probably just involve us walking around the block and trying to find somewhere untouristy to get some lunch.