Sunday 4th December 2011

Ankara to Istanbul by train

Up at 2.30 for the 4am train to Istanbul, got to the train station 3/4 of an hour before it was due and went and sat in the waiting room, according to a temperature I saw on the way to the station it was -9°! Very cold. There was already a few people in there all snoring away but it was nice and warm. 4am came and went no sign of a train and nobody to ask, so just sat and waited and waited, I kept looking at my ticket just to make sure, yep, right date, right station and 4.11 to Istanbul! People started to drift in but nobody official. Eventually I found an official who said it was at 6 they’d changed the timetable or something, they must have changed it over night as I only brought the ticket yesterday! Could have stayed in bed for a couple more hours! Eventually the train arrived at 6.30, managed to lift my bike up the 3 feet to get it into the guards carriage, left Ankara at 6.50! I like it when the train stops you have enough time to get off the train and get something to eat or traders get on to sell you bits. The landscape is pretty baron around Ankara, but the closer we got to Istanbul it started to get greener. Eventually arrived in Istanbul 11 hours later! Felt more worn out than when if I’d have cycled here!

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