Bike-Ride To Australia 4th-December 2011 Ankara to Istanbul by train. Early start today, I was up at 2.30, ready for the 4 am “Istanbul Express” to Istanbul. Paranoid I’d miss the train; hence my 2.30 am start! I arrived at the railway station 45 minutes early! At the railway station, I went and sat in the waiting room. It was too cold outside. It was -9!
There was already a few people in the waiting room, all fast asleep and snoring! But at least it was nice and warm in there. 4 am came and went, and no sign of a train! And nobody around to ask! I kept looking at my ticket to ensure what it said and check that I had the right time and date! Yep, I was at the right station, Sunday the 4th December, today! And the 04.11 “Istanbul Express” to Istanbul! There was nothing else I could do apart from sit and wait.
People started to drift in, but nobody official or anybody who spoke English! Eventually, at about 5.30, I found an official who spoke a little English. He told me the train was at 6 am. They’d changed the timetable! They must have changed it at short notice; I only bought my ticket at 4 pm yesterday! I needn’t have gotten up so early! The train eventually arrived at 6.30 and left Ankara at 6.50.
I’m On My Way
This Istanbul Express was no express; it took eleven hours! We stopped off at various stations on route, where people, often teenagers, would hop on to sell their wares—ranging from shoes to pots and snacks. Which, as it turned out, was very useful, as there was no buffet car!
I arrived in Istanbul just before 6 pm and felt more worn out than if I’d been cycling for eleven hours! I checked back into the same hotel, which felt a little like coming home! All the staff remembered me, and when I went to the bar Ahmet, the barman said, “ah, Mr Garry where have you been!
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