Day 53 – Tekirdag to Istanbul

I woke up with the view of the sea in a very wild field. As I risen early, I thought I might be able to get to Istanbul. I packed up and went on the road along the sea, it was a busy dual carriageway but with a comfortable hard shoulder. I stopped first of all by a supermarket to grab some bread for breakfast, the owner very kindly saw me and brought out some free cake, and then a small, shriveled cucumber which was slightly random but very nice thought anyway.

The road was good, so I was making a good time, I aimed to get to Istanbul so short breaks rather than my usual couple of hours off. The road though started to get busier the closer I got; the hard shoulder disappeared, so I was on the dual carriageway, not a great place to be. Then two lanes turned into three and then five lanes. It was mental, and I am not going to lie, one slip and that would have been curtains for me, to say I wasn’t a little scared would be an understatement.

Luckily I arrived on the outskirts of Istanbul and off the main road, still alive and in one piece. I cycled through the back streets, again the light was fading, but I managed to make it to the Old town and the mosques just before. Wow, what a buzz and what a sight to arrive to, these mosques stuck out like mountains in the sea. I wondered around the place for a bit, taking in the sweet shops, the spices and the people encouraging you into their restaurants, before heading to my hostel, it was nearby and right in the centre. They showed me to my room and took my bike into a safe place, as I came down there were a couple of English Gap year students who very kindly offered me a bit of their food, and as always that offer is never rejected. We chatted away about our travels; he had stayed in Turkey for a couple of months. I was still in my cycling gear with oil like hands, so after a while, I thought maybe shower and change might be the best idea.

I thought I only got to get over the bridge tomorrow, but I have been informed that you have to take a ferry or taxi, tomorrow will be a short ride then to finish this trip. On the ferry and into Asia.