Tomorrow I leave Tbilisi for Istanbul—by way of a 24-hour bus. I know. But it’s for the pure, torturous pleasure. Maybe see a bit of the countryside. Maybe get a blood clot. Save a few dollars.
I had grand, semi-extensively, but very inefficiently researched plans (not my specialty) to make my way to Kars in eastern Turkey, see Ani (beautiful, ancient ruins) and then on to Istanbul by train. Life, however, conspired in the form of Dr. Marina (like all PC doctors, a goddess/god who walks the earth) who helped ease my path to future employment despite, or more accurately thanks, to my tendency to procrastinate, but also resulted in me having to stick around Tbilisi several more days. Which given the near perfect weather has been a real hassle.
Add the end of Ramadan (luckily a friend clued me in on that one) and Victory Day on the Turkey side, and it still being tourist season, all conspiring to my not being able to find a decent seat or sleeper on the 2-day train from Kars to Istanbul. I’m a little disappointed as I’ve been perusing Seat 61 for several months now, but bus it will be. And for the Istanbul to Bucharest train I have learned my lesson and will be booking early.
I’m traveling for over three weeks and plan to do it on the cheap. This means there will be lots of free loading and favors requested on my side so I would like to take this space to thank everyone who has already gone above and beyond the call of duty and those still to come in helping me get all my luggage home on the cheap, put me up along the way, and handle logistics on the homeward side. THANK YOU!!!
My plan so far is to spend some time in Istanbul (Turkish baths are definitely on the agenda, Dana) and then head off with Angie by train for Romania, Hungary, and the Czech Republic. Once she leaves, the rest is a bit hazy as certain people who were admittedly not informed of my plans in advance have nevertheless thrown them astray. The nerve! But most likely I will end at Oktoberfest and then fly to Miami.
Note to Maria: $600 tickets roundtrip Miami to Düsseldorf in September (Air Berlin). Think about it…Germans…Oktoberfest. You know you want to be there.
In terms of my project, that deserves a post of its own. Which I should have plenty of time–battery willing–to do over the next 24-hours. There may be wi-fi on this bus too–who knows, I get a little confused as I’ve changed my destination, my plans, and even my booked ticket several hundred times this week–sadly, to the point where they greet me by name at that bus station in Ortachala.
For my goodbye to Georgia: it’s been a really nice and busy summer and it’s hard to leave (again) all the fantastic people I’ve met during my two trips, but who knows, the world is small and I may be back one day.
Not sure if this translates properly but here it goes:
სანამ ჩვენ, კიდევ ერთხელ შეხვდეს.