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09/12 – Istanbul! (not as close as we thought)

January 14, 2011
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So our last day before Istanbul. We get back on the road after clearing out everything we own that is edible, even draining the last of the oil to cook the last of the eggs. We go back the way we came into the urban sprawl of the outskirts of the city. The road is a big climb (where did that come from??) lots of traffic, several motorways, lots of pollution and lots of time feeling like we’d never actually make it there. Eventually Istanbul materialises and of course we get totally lost. We have an address for the hotel where we are meeting mum but its just a name, in a city full of names that are so foreign to us. We end up heading out of the city on the autobahn, going the wrong way. 70km in and what was meant to be a short day has been a headache of confusion and frustration, but its always like this with cities.

We eventually find the hotel, and what a relief. no more bikes for 10 days!! my arse is very thankful.

I’ve been looking forward to Istanbul for the obvious reason of a well deserved break, but also my Mum and Stevie are coming out to celebrate this checkpoint with us. Through much correspondence, I managed to convice them we would be arriving on the 10th, the day after them. We managed to arrive 1 hour before their bus turned up outside the door to surprise them with a warm welcome. We wait on the roof of the hotel, admiring the great view across the beautiful city, drinking a well deserved beer, anticipation growing at the prospect of the surprise welcome.

We see them arrive and wait about 10 minutes before knocking on their door. Mum’s face is priceless (as is the squeal!) its a great way to begin a fantastic week in Istanbul.

We go for dinner (twice) and catch up. Its so great to see Mum and Stevie here with us šŸ™‚

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