Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Pilgrimage from Celaliye to Atakoy (Istanbul) 02/06/08

My throat is itchy and and my sinuses are clogged when my alarm drags me out of my slumber. I can see why when I finally open my eyes, there is a thick layer of dust coating everything! Didn't look that bad by torchlight!

I get moving and watch the sunrise over the local mosque. Beautiful :)

I have arranged to meet Sabine in Taksim square at 19:30 but I'm still not sure how far I have to go. The signs are saying 34kms to Istanbul, but when I look on the map it looks more like 50 to Taksim :(

So plugging myself in to my iPod I put my head down and get into it. The traffic starts to get busier and busier as I get closer to the city and the scenery is just wall to wall buildings. Not such an enjoyable never is on the outskirts of a city. I make pretty good time but whenever I stop it gets harder and harder to get moving again.

After crashing out on a median strip for a couple of hours it isn't looking like I will make Taksim today. I have already done 25-30kms, it's hot and my feet are killing me.

Getting to Atakoy at 17:30 It's time to jump on a bus. Really, it doesn't matter where I stop today because for the next two days i'm resting! :)

Getting to Monica's work by 7pm I'm pleasantly surprised her office has a shower. At least the other customers at the restaurant won't be put off their food ;) Sabine turns up shortly afterwards and I can hardly recognize her! It's amazing what a few good nights sleep, clean clothes and a shower will do for someones image :)

Monica's choice of restaurant is awsome! Situated in an old ferry terminal overlooking the Bosphorous, the bridge lit up in different colors, serving fresh seafood...perfect!

And to top it off I spend the evening chatting to Miss Turkey 2008, who just happens to be Monica's daughter, Laila. Life couldn't be better...

I'm struck by the contrasts of a pilgrimage once again, just the night before I'm sleeping in a deserted building eating bread and cheese...

After a wonderful meal we head back to my new home for the next couple of days, Tusla, for some rest and relaxation :)

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