Greetings from Istanbul. It has been about 40 days since we were here last and it feels good to be back. We are staying in the same hostel in Sultanhamet and it was fun being greeted as returning friends. They even noticed that I had lost weight on the Lycian Way and that my beard was longer. They also wanted to know if I had heard any news about my bike, which I have not. Hopefully it is still safe in the parents' basement.
Since the Lycian way we spent a few nights in Kemer, a coastal Russian tourist town. We spent our days soaking up the sun and swimming in the Mediteranean and watching the annual Turkish wrestling championship. From Kemer we travelled back to Fethiye, where we had started our hike from. What took 29 days of trekking was undone in 7 hours of combined hitchhiking and bus trips. It was really fun to pass through some of the sections of our trek again, though, and we even caught a few glimpses of the trail markers where the path crossed the major roads. Back in Fethiye we checked into the same Hostel and ate at the same small local sandwich shop we had frequented a month prior. Both were happy for the repeat business. We spent our free day on a boat trip, which inclded several swim stops and a barbecue lunch. Nice to swim off a boat given Turkey's rocky coast and beaches.
We took an overnight bus back to Istanbul and will spend another day here before taking the bus up to Romania and Bulgaria. Our next big visit will be Bran, Romania, home of the Vlad the Impaler, the origin of the Dracula legend. Lookng forward to leaving Tukey behind after about 48 days here. It will most likely be our longest stay in any country, but we definitely picked a good one to make our cornerstone/
Until next time, keep reading......