Icmeler to Istanbul

Trip Start Jun 15, 2007
Trip End Jun 27, 2008

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Saturday, July 7, 2007

Before we get started you may have hopefully noticed that there are a few photos included in this blog (we are slowly learning).  Anyhow, as well as these photos there are several more on our photobucket website.  These can be found by clicking HERE Have a nosey around and let us know what you think.

So on Friday 29th June, we finally left Icmeler and headed for Istanbul. The guys in the bar next to our hotel were helpful in getting us sorted with the bus tickets.  Siad took Pat to the station on the back of his moped to get the tickets then on Friday evening they took the both of us to the station to catch the bus.
The journey was 13 hours and all in all was pretty good.  Air con, free drinks and biscuits, even a waiter in a bow tie to look after you - not bad for 20 quid really.  National Express please take note!
Afetr what seemed like forever the sun came up and we boarded the ferry for the final stint in our journey to Istanbul. This crossing over the Sea of Marmara was to shave 5 hours off the journey time.
After a rather hair raising dodgy cab ride (thanks to Pat's choice in travel) we arrived unscathed in Sultanahmet. This was a refreshing change to the streets of Icmeler and we found our way relatively straight forward.
We checked in and soon made friends with some fellow English travellers and they happened to mention that there was a three day festival taking place in Kylios, on the Black Sea.  Some of the bands that were headlining were The Magic Numbers, James, Marilyn Manson, and best of all, on the night we were going, GROOVE ARMADA!!! What a superb opportunity to go and see one of our favourite bands in such a fantastic location.
The place was an amazing and 'AWESOME' venue. Although the site was very large and spread along most of the coast line, it was suprisingly intimate. Even if you were at the back you were still close enough to catch all of the action.  We managed to see a few acts that were playing including The Rakes, Juliette and The Licks, Kelis and then finally Groove Armada. They did not fail to impress.
The following day was Nic becoming a woman.... Happy 30th!!! The day started out nicely with sightseeing at the Blue Mosque. Shoes were removed and scarves were used to cover the hair and then we crained our necks to take in the beauty that was above us amidst people praying. After this we walked up to Topkapi Palace but were too tight to pay the entrance fee, the gardens were nice though. On the way back fatal mistake number 1. Choosing to keep the cost down we bought a corn on the cob from a street vendor for our lunch. This was to be Pats undoing for the next three days. He spent most of his time during the day in the little boys room and at night on the laundry room floor (accompanied by large rat traps) so as not to disturb our fellow roomies. However he did manage to scare to death three of the staff when they tried to get in to the room during the night. They thought he was a giant rat! As Pat was fading fast we chose to move to a hotel to get some much needed rest and space. However to further add insult to Pat's ailments whilst using the shower in the new rooms ensuite bathroom (nice) the shower head decided to fall from its holder and land directly on the top of his foot, hobbling him.
Suprisingly Nic (the hypochondriac) is the healthy one and doing fine.

We have planned our next stage. On Tuesday 10th July we fly to Kiev, Ukraine. Once in Kiev we will arrange visas for Moscow. We then aim to spend a few days in Moscow before catching the train to Beijing via Mongolia... Very Very Excited! This should take 23 days with plenty of stopovers along the way.
Bye for now - we will try and update once we reach Moscow. 
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