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We arrived late in evening at the very hectic main Istanbul bus station after a 6 hour bus ride from Safronbolu. There were so many buses, taxis, cars and people just coming in and out of the station that it was quite surprising to not see any accidents! The bus company that we went with offered a free shuttle service to the city centre from the bus station, so naturally we wanted to take advantage of that. We got to the shuttle stop and waited, and waited, and waited… no information anywhere, no one to ask , no timetables, nothing. After about 1 and half hours a small mini bus finally pulled up and we were shoved inside and swiftly on our way to Taksim square where the first of our 3 lodgings was located.
I had never heard of Safranbolu when Luke suggested we go there before our final stop in Istanbul. But it looked like a nice enough little place, and it was sort of on the way to Istanbul, so off we went. Catching the bus from Cappadocia was easy enough and we only had to transfer once in the capital city Ankara. We arrived barely five minutes before our transfer bus was leaving the station so it was a somewhat stressful first half of the journey.
We left Pamukkale on an overnight bus to Goreme in the Cappadocia region of Turkey. This was a place I was extremely excited to visit after having seen the most amazing photos of it. This area of the country looks like no place else I have ever seen, and as far as I know like no other place on earth. It is characterized by these incredibly unique rock formations that are referred to as “fairy chimneys”. I don’t really know what a fairy chimney is meant to be, but I do know that these are some COOL rocks!
We left the coastal town of Kusadasi on a very very comfortable bus towards the interior city of Denizli. These coach buses put Canadian Greyhound to shame. Just like PolskiBus, you get free Wifi, but all buses in Turkey also have a small TV screen on each seat (just like most airplanes these days) and have on-board drink and snack service. Very nice!
Our shortest (1.5 hour) but most expensive (35 EUR) ferry ride was from Samos to Kusadasi, Turkey. Along with hundreds of day trippers, we took the morning ferry and arrived in Turkey at around 10am. The small ferry boat was horrendous, almost dropping to Fiji standards, but luckily it was only a short ride and we even got to see some dolphins on the way!