Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Gigantic Istanbul (29.07.2014 - 04.08.2014)

After leaving Greece on a new and empty motorway we decided to take the scenic route along the Sea of Marmara. Our hopes of finding a nice camping to stay for the night were unfulfilled and we ended up in a giant half finished 5* hotel.

The remaining distance to Istanbul was soon covered and the one way street madness had us engulfed. Finally we reached our destination to soon leave again and pick up Melanie at the airport.
The following two mornings we visited the Iranian consulate for our visa. I got mine but Pasqual got told to return on Monday a third time :S

The rest of the time we visited the usual attractions: Galata tower, Spice Market and Grand Bazar, Sultan Palace, Hagia Sofia and other mosques (from the outside), Taksim square, the Beyoglu quarter with its shops, restaurants, cafes and clubs. We also took the ferry to the Asian side, but as there wasn't much to see returned by train trough the new (leaky) tunnel to the Golden Horn.
Diving into the Turkish cuisine we tried all kind of kebab, shish kebab, ayran (buttermilk), lahmacun, köfte, different pide, many appetizers and even overpriced ice cream (including show) :D
On Monday Melanie flew back home and we got the second Iranian visa, yuppie! We don't know yet how to get in with our car, but one problem at the time ;)
As we had planned to get the Uzbek visa in Istanbul as well (and haven't due to the delay) we decided to visit Ankara for that. So we continued eastwards to the city of Iznik. Another ferry ride and scenic route later we arrived in this town which once was the capital of a kingdom at the Marmara Sea.